I was very frustrated at work yesterday thinking through a key business issue with a lot of variables in play, and the emotion was clouding my ability to think about the problem. Approaching the problem creatively was even harder, even though I was aware of this obstacle at the time. And of course this is not a novel problem, it happens to most of us in business.
But I haven’t seen much discussion on the topic from people who are interested in business design. It’s a taboo in corporate life that won’t be discarded easily, because we associate calm, collected behavior with professionalism, and anything else can be scary. All the more reason to address the use of emotions at work head on and figure out how to summon and channel productive emotions that fuel creativity and motivation without making individuals upset with themselves or others.
The start of a list of ideas for doing this:
- Identify what kind of work arouses each person on a team and try to focus them on it
- Teach everyone on the team the concept of flow and when to recognize their own signs of anxiety or boredom, and to communicate these to others on the team so the work can be adjusted accordingly
- Develop a trademark style or practice of the firm that has a positive emotional effect. Broadcast this so that others who respond to it naturally come to the firm (as employees, clients, etc).