Friday, June 18, 2004

Sweet smiles, hard labour An article in last week's Guardian magazine by Madeleine Bunting gives a new take on 'Emotional Intelligence' by talking about 'Emotional Labour': "Once it was enough to put in the hours and offer up your brain and brawn: now, in overworked Britain, it's your feelings they're after." [article may have been deleted - try book review instead]

The life of a knowledge worker, it seems, is getting more exhausting.
"Clearly defined hierarchical bureaucracies have given way to much flatter, more fluid organisations. And as the lines of authority become less clear, much more falls to the individual employee to negotiate, influence and persuade. This is often called the "relationship economy", and what makes it particularly hard work is that it requires skills of empathy, intuition, persuasion, even manipulation, for which there is little preparation in an educational system focused on analytical skills."

I think the point about schoolign is spot on - and if you look at a many business trainign courses, they're all about filling this schooling gap. The closest I've seen is the style of MBA that emphasises group work, but this is leaving it late into adult life.

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