Aren't emotions just inconvenient?

Aren't emotions just inconvenient?

By Hettie Brittz

I admit to feeling that way often, especially in a work environment. I can get pretty emotional, socially, with family, with things I'm passionate about, like mountain climbing (I've cried over a pretty flower in the Swiss Alps) or at births and deaths. So, don't get me wrong – I'm not the stoic type. However, I'm willing to admit that when a colleague brings emotional matters to a formal meeting, something rises up within me. I've caught myself thinking many of these thoughts:

  • Can we just get back to work? That's what we're here for.
  • Emotions slow down decisions and distort them.
  • Emotions diminish people's capacity to think rationally.
  • Emotions are used to manipulate others.
  • There is a time and place for emotions and it's not now in the boardroom. Emotions belong in the tearoom, in your own time.

This thinking does not purely come from having experienced regret after emotional decisions or hearing other executives complain...

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