How Are You Feeling?

How are you feeling?

There’s a question. How are YOU feeling? Like, right now, today.

It may not be the most original question on the planet. But sometimes this is all we need as humans to have a better experience in our day-to-day.

An article posted in The Guardian, about a software app called Kona that works with Slack to make it more than a chatroom, posits that this one singular act all on its own is both simple yet radical.

Funnily enough, this is the same thing we have been doing at Tricres from day one. Just asking someone the question: “How are you feeling today?” is a simple act, but one that makes people feel connected.

We actually use an artfully crafted PDF with a numerical rating for three emotions that describe our mindset at that moment. And at the start of every meeting, we get asked where we feel that we are on the scale. It’s from 1 – 20 by the way, 1 being epic, and 20 being a dark place where intervention might be required. Regardless, it’s telling. And it’s also fascinating to hear where everyone else in our meeting is at.

We don’t know what we don’t know, right? It’s hard to empathise with anyone if you don’t know the real backstory behind someone’s true mood on any given day. By sharing this information, feeling like you are open to expanding on how you feel on the day, it lets others in and can offset body language and behaviours that might otherwise seem off-putting.

But it isn’t all about the negative folks!

Sometimes it is great to share the little wins and the gigantic wins. And to have someone you can shout to about things that might even seem mundane to others but is actually huge for yourself. Sometimes it’s great to know you have an outlet where there is no judgement and expressing yourself is encouraged.

Happiness and euphoria are worth sharing as much as the crappy moments in life. It’s just usually easier to waffle on about the crap. Instead, we should embrace the good stuff!

How does this benefit anyone in the workplace?

If you could go to work and lend others insight into your frame of mind that day as a matter of course, something you are expected to share daily, would that help you do your job?

Personally, I think it can. If you can be honest about your mindset with your colleagues, it can aid in avoiding miscommunication, avoiding misunderstanding behaviours and possibly abrupt responses which aren’t necessarily intended.

And for leaders in a business, it can be telling if someone is regularly on a down day or uses language that is depressing, negative, or emotionally void. These are things employers should want to look out for when it comes to serious issues like burnout, bullying, or even just becoming aware of personal matters that may seriously affect their capacity to do their job well.

Mental health in the workplace is a trendy office-culture conversation topic, but this is a good thing. Where we used to have to ‘put on a brave face’ and smile like nothing was wrong through gritted teeth (“Yeah, absolutely, I’m having a fantastic day!”), people are more comfortable now being able to let others in and share if everything is not perfect.

Checking in

It’s also important to realise that the way people might want to ‘check in’ with you may differ.

As a business owner, team leader, or office manager it’s important to figure out what ways you can check in with your employees and similar tiered colleagues. Let’s not forget to find out how those who may rank higher are feeling too!

The app we mentioned earlier makes it an online experience where people choose a red, yellow, or green light for their mindset and can then expand on that using vocabulary provided. But there may be people who are more inclined to talk in person, or who won’t want to engage digitally at all. It’s about finding what works for your company to accommodate most, and then using opportunities to connect with those who might need extra support to share their thoughts actively.

In the immortal words of Joey Tribiani from Friends,  a simple “How you doin’?” can go farther than you think. And no, we don’t mean THAT WAY 😂! But in a work setting it can definitely yield some important results that can positively impact your overall work culture, and your work relationships, and highlight areas of concern for when things aren’t going so well and someone might need help and support.

On a scale of 1 – 20, today I’m a fabulous 3!