Feelings provide important feedback during our workday. It doesn’t make sense to pretend that it’s best or even possible to keep our emotions and work separate, treating our capacity for emotion and thought as weakness. Walter Chen, co-founder of iDoneThis, looks into how does our brain deals with emotion and connects it to practical results like motivation and productivity.
So, here is the thing right at the start: I’ve always been uncomfortable with the traditional ideal of the professional—cool, collected, and capable, checking off tasks left and right, all numbers and results and making it happen, please, with not a hair out of place. An effective employee, no fuss, no muss, a manager’s dream. You might as well be describing an ideal vacuum cleaner.
I admit that I’ve never been able to work that way. There is one thing that always came first and most importantly for me: How am I feeling today? I found that it can easily happen to think of emotions as something that gets in the way of work. When I grew, I often heard that they obstruct reasoning and rationality, but I feel that we as humans can’t shut off our humanness when we come to work. I wanted to look into whether there was anything besides a gut feeling to my suspicions behind keeping the head and the heart separate in business.
What does emotion have to do with work?
It turns out, quite a lot. Emotions play a leading role in how to succeed in business because they influence how much you try and this is widely misunderstood by bosses and managers.
Psychologists Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer interviewed over 600 managers and found a shocking result. 95 percent of managers misunderstood what motivates employees. They thought what motivates employees was making money, getting raises and bonuses. In fact, after analyzing over 12,000 employee diary entries, they discovered that the number one work motivator was emotion, not financial incentive: it’s the feeling of making progress every day toward a meaningful goal. In fact, Dan Pink found that actually the exact oposite is true:
“The larger the monetary reward, the poorer the performance. – money doesn’t motivate us, at all, instead emotions do.”
Check out the full-length, original article here.
What motivates you to get up for work every day?