5 Reasons Leaders Should Embrace Emotions at Work

Many adults in the workplace are taught to leave emotions at the door while they are at work. For decades workplaces have embraced the stereotype of a stoic, unwavering leader that has all the answers and none of the doubts. In 2022, it is time to put that stereotype to rest. In her new book, The Emotionally Strong Leader: An Inside-Out Journey to Transformational Leadership, author and Leadership Strategist Carolyn Stern tells us that “emotions are our superpowers.” She believes leaders must “get inspired, take action and achieve more by leading with emotional intelligence.” Tapping into our emotions connects us with others, including customers, employees and colleagues.

5 Reasons to Embrace Emotions at Work

1. Emotions don’t have an off switch.

You may think you can simply label emotions as “unprofessional,” and everyone can turn off their feelings until the end of the work day, but humans don’t work that way. If you aren’t managing your emotions, eventually, they will manage you.

2. Many people struggle with emotions at work.

Unfortunately, most people are never taught how to handle emotions, and traditionally, workplace training has not focused on emotional intelligence skills. However, Crestcom’s management training addresses this need by teaching managers how to perceive, manage and regulate emotions to be more effective leaders.

3. Showing emotions builds trust.

Embracing what makes us human will strengthen connections in the workplace. We can be excited when a colleague announces their engagement or feel saddened by the news of a death in a co-worker’s family. We can share feelings of frustration when we lose a client to the competition. Acknowledging these emotions and empathizing with your team in good and bad times builds trust, improves engagement, and creates a positive workplace culture.

4. No, you don’t have to become a therapist!

Some leaders will worry that embracing emotions at work will force them to become on-call therapists for their team. This is not the case. Leaders don’t have to fix everyone’s problems. Embracing emotions at work means recognizing that negative feelings can lead us to discover unmet needs. For example, say an employee seems frustrated or angry. A little digging may find they need better equipment to complete their work efficiently.

5. If you don’t know what employees are feeling, you don’t know if they are engaged.

If anything can be learned from the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting, it is that knowing how your employees feel about work is vital to employee retention and engagement. Checking in with employees about their emotions is the key to creating a positive workplace culture. For example, suppose your team consistently talks about being stressed out, anxious about projects, or always longing for the weekend. In that case, it should signal that something is wrong, and changes may need to be made to prevent burnout and employee turnover. Leaders that don’t embrace emotions at work may be left unaware of issues until it’s too late.

Do Your Managers Have the Skills they Need to Embrace Emotions at Work?

Crestcom’s management training focuses on developing great leaders by improving their skills in Emotional Intelligence, Diversity and Inclusion, Managing Time and Energy, Communication, Recruiting and Retention, Developing Productive Teams, and more. Reach out today to learn more about Crestcom’s leadership development programs and how we can help your managers develop the skills needed to get great results.