The office is no place for emotions. One should never get emotional at work. Nothing could be further from the truth! There has to be hard work, passion and dedication when it comes to work. Without these 3 things, a person cannot bring willingness at their job.
This is now a huge systemic problem and has already caused some serious damage to the work lives of employees and the bottom lines of employers. If this remains unchecked and unless there are some big changes made at workplaces around the world, we are looking at workplaces turning into hateful torture chambers (if they haven’t already become so)
Let us take the biggest problem amongst the above. 9 out of 10 people are not passionate about their work. This is a staggering number and certainly deserves our attention even if we discount the figure by 50% as I have stated in the box So what is really meant by being passionate and why is it so important?
Deloitte defines it as the presence of 3 attributes. Employees are said to be passionate if they
1. Seek challenges
2. Want to have a lasting impact on the field of their work and
3. Build trust based relationships.
To begin with and simplify the above, you can simply ascertain whether you are in love with your job! Is there an emotional connection you feel with the job that goes beyond the obvious give and take transactional nature of the arrangement? Is there a strong enough reason beyond wanting to meet material needs that is served by your job?
The words emotion or emotional are largely misconstrued by the corporate world. Being emotional is akin to being out of control or even week or irrational is common corporate parlance. This is a sad interpretation. Being emotional at the office conjures up an image of someone getting carried away or making irrational or illogical decisions. This is not what is meant by these words. Not at all.
Every human action is ultimately dictated by an emotion. Every action or inaction ultimately serves a twofold purpose – an external manifestation or the physical/material result and an internal satiation of emotion. Let us take an example. A business head has to take a decision to let go 20% of her work force or risk losing her own promotion. She executes her decision swiftly without much difficulty and hands over the pink slip to 20% or her subordinates the very next day. She appears rational, logical and even cold or downright nasty while doing this. The common jab heard at the water cooler after this incident would be ‘she has no heart, no emotions’. This could not be further from the truth.
This lady is actually very emotional. It’s just that the emotions are not what you might expect in a ‘good person’. Her actions may be dictated by the fact that she wants to ensure her own promotion which to her is more important than the jobs of many of her subordinates. Her actions therefore, are ultimately meant to satisfy an emotion. Selfishness for example has its root in the fear of not having enough for oneself.
The base emotion behind her action therefore is FEAR! Most seemingly ruthless, aggressive, self-centred, cold people in the office are actually operating out of fear. This is exactly what I mean when I say every human action is dictated by an emotion. The corporate world therefore is extremely emotional. Moreover, all so called logical and rational people are also very emotional. The real essence lies in finding the emotion behind their action!
So why is being passionate so important? It is simple really. When you are in love, you tend to do all you can for the object of your love. You can surpass great obstacles and take on huge challenges when you are in love. You do not easily let go when difficulties, problems or hurdles show up. You go out of your way and are not content in doing just the bare minimum.
Passionate people go beyond doing the bare minimum. They find resources within themselves when difficulties and problems arise. They have a very clear reason to continue working and striving when most would want to let go. Passionate employees are the key to a successful organisation.
The simple message here being that if you are in love with your job, you will do much more than the bare minimum that is asked of you. You will tend to be resilient and strive on in difficult times.
Underachievement amongst employees is more a problem of attitude and not that of ability. Most people look at doing anything more than the bare minimum as painful. To reverse this tendency, it is important to have an over-riding reason for doing the work you do. It is important to be in love with your work.
Now that we have seen how the corporate world is very emotional and the fact that passionate people are the ones that ultimately make things happen, the next part in this series will address the next few important questions like 1. Are you born passionate or is it possible to inculcate passion? and How to instil passion amongst employees?