I’m sorry you’re sorry for being emotional

When did our society decide that showing emotion at work was a bad idea?  What is so different about work that it requires us to check our humanity at the door?   What if leaders were to experience the power of deeply emotional moments in supportive silence?  This is a leadership superpower I cultivate in my daily yoga and meditation practice.

I think the most curious aspect of these deep, powerful interactions is the apology.  “I am sorry for being emotional”.  Huh?  I’m sorry that you feel the need to apologize for being human.  We are sensory beings that are deeply impacted by our environment.  Somehow it is acceptable to be stressed, frustrated or happy in the workplace yet people feel weak if colleagues see them sad, vulnerable, overwhelmed or hurt.  Why is that?

I propose that we rethink the way we perceive emotions at work.  In my experience, deep emotions convey passion for the team and the mission.  I see these emotional moments as an opportunity to support each other and connect on a deeper level than a corporate offsite could ever achieve.

Our humanity is central to who we are and I am comfortable if people bring that to work.  I want to know how you feel.  During my career, the best leaders have been those who were clear on how they felt and are comfortable experiencing the emotion of others.

I incorporate a loving kindness meditation into my morning routine as a form of empathy training.  Consciously cultivating empathy prepares you to support your colleagues.  When the moment arises to sit in supportive silence, you will be ready.


(originally posted at ChiefYogaOfficer.com)

Leave a Reply