I have recently observed and heard a number of senior leaders (and senior OD and HR professionals) seeking only positive emotions in the workplace from their employees.  Furthermore, these same organisations have a view that the experience of negative emotion is ‘bad’ and should be avoided. I am deeply concerned by this growing trend and share below not only the compelling evidence and research but also explain why negative emotions are necessary for success.

As a parent of two beautiful girls I understand the desire to protect and nurture.  I also know that every parent has the best intentions for the way they parent and provide the caring and nurturing environment that our children need. As a leader I also know that I have a similar genuine intention to develop my people and generate a high performing team.

Rather than investing significant amount of resources on ineffective interventions, perhaps we need to consider equipping our leaders simply with the ability to have effective conversations. I believe there are just THREE conversations that every leader needs to know how to implement. 

How important are mistakes?  This question has been playing through my mind over the last few weeks while working on a conference presentation on ‘Disruptive Thinking’ and the work with a number of our clients on cultivating a ‘Culture of Accountability’.  In addition, as a father of two young girls I have been considering the role of mistakes in my daughter’s development and our response as parents to their mistakes. I believe we need to re-evaluate how we respond to mistakes, as both parents and leaders, and consider if we need to re-think how best to harness the power of a mistake.