let’s get all emotional

Published: 10th March, 2014

It’s powerful stuff when you’re in the room when someone steps forward to share something personal – a point in time when you hear what someone really thinks. Too often it’s easier to toe the company line or be worried about how you could be perceived. For whatever reason your colleague has found themselves able to share a point of view that may have been pent-up for some time. When it happens it’s a moment to be cherished as your chances of making a real difference have just increased!


So how can you encourage the team to share, well we’ve seen that:

– using an inanimate prop to direct angst is easier than pointing the finger in anyone’s general direction! It feels easier to share a connection with a particular aspect or a part of the business via a ‘model’ rather than the individual themselves. I’m sure there must be some theory behind this – note to self I must go find it!

– create a¬†‘safe’ environment where participants can see demonstrated that their point of view will be taken in the right way and to generate an opportunity to do better. An explicit path or approach is key to this- that has been demonstrated to the individual or the group so they can see it working;

– it always helps to give something up first as an acknowledgement that not all is perfect in own area. People are more likely to reflect back in a positive way if they feel it’s a fair and objective against the reality of the whole business.


I suppose there’s something about this level-playing field that just feels right whether inside or outside of business. We’ve got a resource and prop-based approach to achieving this but that won’t be the only way. We’re learning all the time about how people interact and engage particularly with the different sizes of resource. It’ll be a whole new ball game when we embrace the tablet technology for BigPicZap v2- I just don’t know whether people will feel the same emotional attachment via tech. My hope is they will providing they have been in the room with their colleagues first. More on that later!

Thanks to Michael Tingsager for nudging me on the topic of emotions. His own experience is drawn from the difficulty in engagement with operations stuff who are generally product, process & materials folk. There is a often a challenge to break open the conversation at a more personal level. It could be Big Picture helps Michael to do this,