Although lots of people tell you they work because they need the money, it’s a mistake to dismiss work as purely a transactional exchange. It’s much more than dollars for time and effort! After sleep, the most human hours are spent working. So, when work goes off track, the impact is far reaching.

Above and beyond any transactional contract, work is an emotional experience. It’s an opportunity for humans to connect, to relate and to belong. Even more so inside a team, which also forces human collaboration with people for whom you may feel no natural affinity. Tricky!

I’ve spent close to twenty years studying happiness and the biggest negative emotions my clients express always come from their people connections – not from the incidents or events they have encountered, but the relationships they have experienced. Because, as Dan Harris explains in his hilarious TED talk: “relationships are the most important variable when it comes to human flourishing”.

Unfortunately, negativity prompts separation, uncertainty and intolerance. And inside a team, negative emotions are contagious. As the pandemic demonstrated, it’s a flow that can be difficult to halt. Perhaps you know a business still experiencing division and other ongoing difficulties, eg:

  • Team discord (us and them), with lack of transparency and poor communication
  • People problems, like high staff churn, absenteeism and burnout
  • Productivity slowdowns and deadline pushback

New year is a wonderful opportunity to realign, but it’s not a magic wand. Those relying on the false assumption that goalsetting or 2023 resolutions will reactivate positivity in their people should check the brain science on the negativity bias.

If you’re ready for a new approach to change, consider learning more about Transformational Emotional Alignment (TEA). Supported by extensive testimonials, I’ve refined this process over ten years, helping reverse people’s most negative challenges and assist organisations to resolve deep-seated human issues dividing their team.

It seems to me 2023 is the year for braver business behaviour. Instead of ignoring emotion when it spills over into the workspace, we must address negativity with a fundamental change in the way we think about feelings at work.

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