The heart of a good business by Luke Smith

Sunday 05 November 2017

The heart of a good business

It’s long been regarded as bad business form to bring your emotions into the workplace. Highly charged emotional outbursts can led to rash decision making or knee jerk reactions that occur in the heat of the moment. But in a world where everything is becoming increasingly false and calculated, a little heart in a business can be a breath of fresh air. Where do our emotions fit in the world of business? Should we be trading with our heads or our hearts?

Tears have a very bad rap, but thankfully that is slowly changing. Attitudes towards them are adjusting as we realise it’s no longer realistic or healthy to ask people to leave their emotions at home.  You have to also ask yourself, do you want someone working for you that isn’t able to produce an honest emotional response? Sometimes responses can be negative, but they can also include passion, determination and elation.

Businesses are essentially made of human beings and the most successful ones are those which are both relatable and honest, inside and out. Anne Kreamer of “It’s Always Personal: Emotion in the New Workplace” suggests that a company that embraces emotions is more likely to be a place of creativity and innovation. Rather than supressing emotions, businesses should be looking at how they turn negative emotions into positive ones. Transforming strong feelings into those that you drive your business forward and produce positive results.  It’s strange that those who swear more are usually more successful.


A lot can be said in favor of having that ‘gut feeling’ or intuition about a business decision, when you are guided by your gut instead of your head. Only 10% of executives surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit said they would take a course of action that went against their gut feeling, if data suggested it. Instead they would look to reanalyse the decision, collect more information or just ignore it. Gut feelings are more than just a whim or a gamble, they are based on relevant experience to your role. The more experience you gather, the more you learn to listen to that little voice inside your head!

90% of our behavior is generated outside of our consciousness, so like it or not our emotions will shape the way we act at work no matter how deep we try to bury them. The answer is not to not feel, but take time to ensure that the response is considered and appropriate. There is no use in panicking.  Get courage by getting the facts and then go with your gut. This will curb the desire to make rash decisions.

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