A few minutes in I suddenly felt tears welling up from down deep inside. I tried really hard to not to display my emotions and push them away, but the harder I tried the stronger it grew. And then it happened... I started to cry.
In front of my client, in the middle of my presentation.
"Janine, showing your true emotions, does not make you less of a professional. It makes you human. Whatever you feel, it is welcomed here. So let's talk."
Now this sounds simple enough, but it’s pretty difficult in practice.
Because emotions have a bad rap in the workplace. If you’re a true professional, the thinking goes, you don't show emotions at work. Consequently, in many workplaces showing strong emotions, good or bad, can be career suicide. If you allow your frustration at a bad decision or your elation at a victory to shine through, you will be seen as volatile, untrustworthy and, of course, unprofessional.