We Got Emotional.
We have quarterly training sessions with Rebecca at Tricres and I can honestly say she is great. In a pandemic when training might not be at the top of your priority list, I highly recommend firms take the time to go through an exercise like this. Beforehand I always think I could really be doing without this today, I need to be getting on with X, Y and Z, but I ALWAYS come away upbeat and feeling better about work and also about home life – it’s basically one and the same now isn’t it!?!
We had our quarterly session last week and Rebecca sprung emotions on us. Believe me when I say we are not a touchy-feely bunch at all. This did not come naturally to any one of us but we completely let it all out and you know what…it felt amazing! In-fact the whole company has had it but I will only speak about the session I attended. You might think that sounds horrific and is not for you and your firm, and I would have agreed in your position, but after doing it I am a convert.
We want to be able to talk to our teams and listen to how they are feeling during this time. It is important we help people feel better and we all do a better job when we aren’t under stress. While we will be encouraging team members at all levels to tell us how they feel, we felt it was important to go through the exercise ourselves.
Rebecca introduced the session and that we were going to be talking about emotions; I recoiled and potentially muttered something rude to myself. As a Scot, it’s not naturally in me to talk about such things never mind with my colleagues (I even quite like that people can’t hug me anymore).
Now I won’t give away her secrets, but Rebecca had some tools and ways to get 12 remote individuals opening up to each other from within their own homes through a video call. Oh, how cathartic it was. Not only did I feel so much better divulging how the stresses of home school, having a toddler at home and doing a good job at work were getting to me but I immediately felt closer to my team again, not an easy feat with remote working. I felt empathy towards everyone’s struggles and I also didn’t feel as alone in mine. Now when I type it here it doesn’t look a lot, but I really went into how these things are making me feel. I don’t suggest we do this as a team every week but ongoing being more mindful of your colleagues’ emotions can only be positive for the business.
We are a diverse management team. We have people living alone, those home-schooling young kids, older kids, those who have spouses working in hospitals or the care sector, one is based in America and those who have full houses again with children that had left for university. It is easy at the moment to get caught up in just how awful your own situation is and to hear how your colleagues personal life is really actually going at the moment, nobody was allowed to use the word fine was such a beneficial insight for everyone.
Obviously, we threw in the odd joke when it got too serious or awkward, we are human after all, but we all came away and agreed one thing – we will openly talk about our emotions in our business more. If you and your staff are listened to and don’t feel alone, that can only be a good thing both for the individuals and your business.
I now understand the importance of this for my children too. I am currently homeschooling a 5 and a 6-year-old and each morning when they log-in they each have their own way to let the teacher know how they feel. My five-year-old has a display of coloured monsters. Green monster is jealous, red monster angry, yellow happy – you get the idea. My five-year-old is getting used to telling us how he feels at the start of the day and in turn, his teacher knows what language to use to help him learn better, what tools to give him to improve how he feels, perhaps when to challenge him more because he is in the right mood – how amazing is it that he can do this as a child, and yet as adults when we are told to talk about emotions we physically recoil! Emotional wellbeing is more important in running our businesses than we give it credit for.
We might not be spilling our hearts out every day and although post-pandemic the emotional challenges might not be as tough; we will continue to talk about how we feel at Cashroom.
Author: Emma O’Day, The Cashroom