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Is it OK to show some emotion?

Fiona Smith of the AFR writes today that “it’s OK to show some emotion”.  This might be the case for men, but in my experience quite the opposite is true of women in the workplace.

It’s true – emotion is becoming part of the authenticity of our leaders.  As long as they are men.

While a man who displays emotion is viewed as committed, passionate or authentic, all too often its still perceived as a weakness in women.

In the author’s example, a CEO who returned to work after the death of his father – the founder of the company – was seen as honoring his father’s legacy when he displayed emotion and talked openly about his feelings and legacy his father left.

Yet we all saw what happened to Hillary Clinton when a tear came to her eye during that famous speech: she was targeted as weak, not strong enough to be the Commander in Chief.

The irony that this story was posted opposite the Corporate Woman column was not lost on me.  Give me more examples of where emotion benefits women leaders, and I’ll start believing the headline.


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