Posted by Eric Ungs

As I am reading Linchpin by Seth Godin, he discusses emotional labor versus physical labor. Briefly; physical labor is the type that causes fatigue, it’s work, hard work that someone of authority has told you to do. Emotional labor is something that is not generally on your day-to-day checklist. It’s a type of personal uniqueness that makes it hard to replicate; your smile, generosity, passion, caring, sincerity, etc.

The top of your company’s totem pole consists of the owners, executives, and managers. These are the folks innovating, implementing, creating, enforcing policy, and ultimately setting your daily agenda of things do to. At the top of the totem pole you are able to see far and wide of the beautiful scenery, but as you start to slide down, its breathtaking view starts to become non-existent, so does your humanity, your voice.

Why is it that at the bottom of the corporate ladder you have NO voice?

It’s assumed that the less you make the quieter the voice. In most cases, this assumption is true, but why? Isn’t the bottom of the totem pole generally the first thing to come in sight considering it’s at eye level? The same holds true for most organizations. The bottom of the ladder being the first, last, and most times, the only contact with the customer. But yet organizations have them abiding by a set of rules on how you should say this and when. Let them create their own voice. Let them use their emotional labor that they share outside of the workplace that has them being liked and loved by so many people. Let them showcase what defines them as a human. This type of interaction is contagious and soon the customer, manager, and your colleagues will catch it. It’s called creating a human relationship. Humanize the workplace instead of always having to read off of a transcript that the consumer has heard a million times before.

Does your organization allow those in contact with the customer have their own voice?

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