Greater emotional awareness of our own feelings and of those around us can preempt the terrible consequences of “unheard” emotional pain, sometimes even more effectively than medications. As emotional awareness becomes a greater part of our culture, there is a much better chance of mollifying the deep pain of extreme jealousy or grief before it leads to such drastic reactions as homicide or suicide.

The ramifications for the workplace and corporate environment are enormous. We either make use of this emerging knowledge or ignore it at our own peril. As competitive as the workplace has become, the companies that choose to ignore such knowledge and cocoon themselves in a system of closed hierarchal thinking operate according to what can be referred to as the hierarchy-based Status Factor. On the other hand, those who operate with openness to their environment-and the humans within it-operate according to the hierarchy-independent Awareness Factor.

Tips for Advancing Relationship Building

  • Pay attention to your relationships at work. Research on the human mind reveals that we’re much more influenced by one another than we ever imagined.
  • Have someone listen to your concerns before they become too heavy to handle. An awareness of emotional states helps to prevent the extremes of anxiety, depression, or other discomforts that might interfere with work.
  • Relationship Building offers flexibility for respecting individual differences at the expense of rigid rule obeisance. Ultimately, a rough division of values in the workplace breaks down to hierarchy-based status values versus a somewhat less rigid, cooperative structure, allowing for greater flexibility in the interpretations of rules.

To learn more, read the revised and updated Relationship Economics paperback edition with 40 percent new content, including an all-new chapter 10 on social media and business relationships (Wiley, Feb. 2011).

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