We got feelings...

Hey folks 👋 this week, we're going to explore how recognising our emotions and learning to process them plays a much bigger part in our ability to do our best work than we might currently believe.

Emotions, right? Frustrating, anger, happiness, elation - they're one hell of a ride. And they connect to everything we do.

I've always winced at, what I deem as stupid advice, the notion to separate your emotions from personal and professional worlds or to leave emotions and feelings at the door. 

I class it as stupid because we are emotional creatures. We think and feel through our emotions. They can propel us to do our best work or pound us into submission. To suggest leaving emotions out of work is effectively telling someone to stop breathing.

Below is a short thought on the sometimes ill-assessment of performance in the workplace and the importance of an emotional culture in all walks of life.

Also, not forgetting the usual dose of weird, wonderful and what I hope is helpful content from the rest of planet earth in my curated roundup.
The big thought

When someone is not performing as expected in the workplace, it’s quick to pass judgement.

You might think they’re lazy, incompetent or just not capable of completing the tasks they’ve been set. All of these things might be true but they might not be too.

Over my career, I’ve found too many of us ignore the signals when it comes to causes of lower-than-expected performance, and ultimately don’t investigate in any detail to discover the root cause of problems.

Hence why so many are quick to pass judgement on what they think is causing a person’s poor performance.

I would say, 80% of the time, perhaps even higher, that issues with low performance are almost certainly down to current emotional states of mind. And, the reason why so many managers miss the signs and don’t unpack the problem in detail is due to a lack of emotional intelligence.

If someone is displaying lower performance than usual, we first need to ask ourselves, what could be the cause of this?

And, guess what? The simplest way to discover the answer to this is through a human-to-human conversation.

No matter what anyone says, emotions matter at work. 

They’re a driver of how we feel, behave and ultimately perform. If someone is not up to their usual level, you can guarantee something deeper is going on.

This is why having high EQ awareness and skills is vital for managers.

For better or worse, our emotional state has an overarching effect in all areas of our lives. So take note of this, when people don’t quite seem themselves, dig deeper, be empathetic and see what’s really bothering them.

You never know what might be going on.

Perhaps this person is struggling with new parenthood, caring for a relative or just having a hard time in this crazy thing called life. Whatever the issue, it requires attention and support.

So, next time you perceive someone is lazy, incompetent or not motivated. Put your empathy hat on and use your EQ skills. Explore the real root cause of the problem, bring empathy to the situation and support where/if you can.

Many good people have been deemed poor performers and forced out of roles for many a wrong reason, when in reality, all they needed was a good old conversation and support.
You might also like...
Content that has caught my attention and might interest you too.

🤔 It's not often that I read anything from the Financial Times (this is quite possibly the first time!) but this article on Better management, not endless training, will solve our corporate ills caught my attention.

These two parts stood out to me through my scrolling: 

"Training has become the panacea for every corporate ill, the default answer to improving productivity, retaining talent, and even taming the wage-price spiral. But it increasingly feels like a substitute for good management." 

"An article in Harvard Business Review claims that most organisations don’t measure how effective their training is. One trainer describes his sessions as “spray and pray: we don’t know what will stick”.

"Theodore Agnew, the former minister for the UK civil service, asked in 2020 how much Whitehall spent on training, to be told 16 months later: “We think we spend £190mn-£500mn, but we don’t know what courses we buy or how good they are”

Safe to say, I nodded in agreement a lot during this one. I also liked the insight from this human on LinkedIn too.

💡 One of my favourite voices in the world of learning, performance and education in Nick Shackleton-Jones, has released his popular 5Di toolkit for free! In Nicks's own words, this is all based on Human-Centred Design as a new way of thinking in learning and development.

Check it out here, I think you'll love it.

👏 Another insightful read from the folks over at Gallup. This delves deep into how fast and frequent feedback fuels performance.
One more thing...
Learning technology ecosystems explained

Here's a 3-minute visual thought where I share some words on defining what learning technology ecosystems are, how they work and what could work for the organisation you're working with today.

The image I voice-over comes by the way of the amazing folk at RedThread research and is one that I've used in a lot of my own work when speaking with industry peers and organisations. I've got a few explainer videos lined up over the summer, so keep an eye for these dropping onto a LinkedIn feed near you!


“Every day of our lives, we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference.”

Mignon McLaughlin

That's it for this week. Please do share your thoughts with me on these pieces or anything I share on the Twitterverse and LinkedIn. Chat to you soon and stay healthy people!

Don't forget to visit my website
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(P.SWriting this newsletter is a labor of love for me and I'd keep doing it if only one person read it. If you enjoy my words, this content and think it might benefit others too, then please do me the honor of sharing this with your community).
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