Following the article from former Hillary Clinton campaign aide Jennifer Palmieri on why women should cry more in the workplace; my wife and her business partner were interviewed and asked to provide their opinion for a national paper. You can find the interview at Female Success Network.
As two successful business women they were asked as to whether ‘Is it ever ok to cry at work.’ Their responses came from two very different perspectives…..and has really got me thinking.
I think the topic is really interesting and can lead to responses being quite divisive. So make sure that once you have read my article that you comment on whether you agree or disagree.
But before I comment let me state that it makes no difference whether you are male or female my views are the same……
So, how do I perceive crying? …..well, I am not known for my empathy, so this could set the cat amongst the pigeons!
In a leadership role I’m not sure crying solves anything. To me, it can suggest you are not in control. That you are not balanced in your approach, or have allowed your emotion to stop you taking into account all perspectives. Seeing a leader crying, would not give me the confidence in the person setting the vision and direction.
Then there is crying because you are so passionate about an opinion. To me, this only highlights that you may not have logically thought through your viewpoint. Yes you care, but are you blinkered because of your emotion?
What about using crying to manipulate a situation? Perhaps this is why my empathy level is questioned ……. Too many times I have seen crying used as a tactic to avoid being challenged during a difficult conversation.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not a heartless so and so. I do understand that people can get upset and I do understand that the makeup of each person can be very different. However, seeing it in the workplace is not good.
If an employee is crying then you have to ask why they are in this position.
Is it because of their Leader’s management style? Is it because they are being bullied or harassed? This outpour of emotion could be their final option to vent their unhappiness.
But again, I say they should not be crying. Why…Because the issues should have been picked up and addressed at a far earlier point in time by the organisation. Long before the employee reached this point of unhappiness. No one should be forced to tears at work.
So, to kick off the debate, I am going to say no, it’s not ok to cry at work….