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The Feeling Ceiling

Breaking the "ceiling" is possible...with a little help.

It may still be the one word that seems to cause that corporate ceiling to get lower and lower - feelings. But, let's be honest, if we are going to really commit to psychological safety in the workplace, we are going to have to admit that we have them. Yes, some of us have neatly packaged them and stored them for later, but they're there. You can count on it.

Being vs playing

Have you ever been caught off guard when someone else unexpectedly let theirs down? It's strange. So much so, you probably can physically feel a softening, maybe a loosening of your shoulders, a widening of your perspective. This is what happens when we witness authenticity. It not only causes a somatic response but also provides an openness that allows us to safely be more vulnerable. This is us being humans rather than playing a role. It's a humbling experience to witness the unfolding of a whole person, especially when it is unexpected.

The "all" in the challenge

To go through a difficult time or profound challenge and not feel something is, to put it mildly, not healthy. It can be a team chat that throws a colleague into a tizzy, or a bout of intense stress that overcomes your teammate all of a sudden. This is where a team that truly feels safe with each other can really show up and make a difference. Being on the other end of someone in pain, and the realization that you may not immediately be able to relieve that pain is where a connected team can have a huge impact. By showing up as a support system and not a RACI, each of us is the "all" that is right in the middle of the "challenge".

Work it

Feelings don't belong at work. Sound familiar? Maybe an old mantra but there are remnants all around. Realizing we are feeling beings who think and not the other way around, gives us all a collective hall pass to the cheap seats of being human. And there is no better way to let this be ok at work than by having a laugh. Humor can turn feelings, good or bad, into superglue for teams.

Futbol is life

Are there any Ted Lasso fans out there? Dani Rojas' mantra is 100% pure feeling. Sure, some may say passion has its place in sports but not in the workplace. We say, call it what you want but this dude is feeling big time and it has become his whole persona. If you watch the series, you realize that what he is saying is that it is the ability to immerse yourself into something and the people around you that makes life worth living and that feels good. What's wrong with that?

Communicate with (semi)abandon

Feelings and healthy communication can go together, too. Healthy communication, using special tools in your toolbox, (yes, including humor), can avoid confusion, misinterpretation, and resentment that can accrue when feelings are left alone to handle themselves. So, don't dismiss your feelings. Sit with them for a bit and figure out what it wants you to do next and then plan, prepare, and communicate.

The VITAL5 ROUNDUP– The Feeling Ceiling

  1. Human BE-ing- Let's not forget we are not actors in a drama, we are real beings and that means feelings exist.

  2. All in - The more we are in a safe environment, the more collective empathy and acceptance, and that makes it ok (even normal) to feel.

  3. Work the funny bone - got an uncomfortable feeling about something? Find the humor and let out a little pressure.

  4. Lasso in the positive vibes - Find your inner Dani Rojas and realize immersion is passion and that's just another word for feelings.

  5. Sit, feel, deliberate, act, and repeat - feelings can be an internal trigger or alarm that something is going on. Respond after reflection and watch communication take a healthy turn.

VitalConex is a connect-and-create company. To learn more about the "peanut butter cup" of successful teams, check us out at


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