Walked into a lunch discussion group the other day and it was all getting a bit touchy feely. My initial recoil from the shock of hearing male colleagues delving into their emotional responses to situations surprised me. I never quite realised how easily I conformed to the stereotypical Englishman. In the name of personal development this on the couch session had evolved from studying Emotional Intelligence, a book exploring the value of being able to relate to emotions, both personal and of others. On this basis, here we were discussing someone’s belief their receding hairline stems from rubbing their forehead in worry, how another manages his anxiety and tactics for dealing with emotional turbulence in relationships. Interesting to see we were each predominantly affected by different emotions. Once I managed to open up I was equally surprised to find nobody else related to my bête-noir, melancholy. Until it was expressed in terms of the Sunday afternoon blues!
Amateur psychology aside, spending an hour bonding over enriching material is a brilliant opportunity to tackle interesting issues that the day job can get in the way of. Most useful of all may simply be the time spent together overcoming barriers that often hinder developing meaningful working relationships. Watch this space.