Handsome Weeping Boys
Thursday, 1st September 2016
Last week we came across a feature on the 'handsome weeping boys' in Japan. Bizarre as it may sound, companies bring in a man who cries in order to encourage their own employees to cry. It works like this:
A film is shown of something upsetting, such as a fatally ill pet or the death of someone's daughter. Then the crying man hands out tissues whilst the members of staff sob in response to what they have seen. Apparently the aim is to encourage Japanese people to express their emotions. The man behind the idea says, "after you cry and let people see your vulnerability, you can get along even better with people which is also good for the company. It creates a better working environment.""
We're not convinced this idea would transfer well to the U.K. But we do know from experience that to implement change successfully in an organisation there needs to be, not just a rational explanation for that change but also, an emotional commitment from the employees. The same is true for any area of personal development. Leaders improve their leadership abilities not simply by being shown some leadership models but by being personally committed to improving themselves and their teams. Indeed, the deeper the commitment, the greater the likelihood of change.
So, would you pay us to make your employees cry? Actually, we wouldn't recommend it and it's not something we plan to offer. But we would encourage you to consider how you enable your teams to make an emotional as well as a rational commitment to any change you are hoping they will embrace. (And we can help you with that.)
Here's the link to the full BBC article on the crying men: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37178014
We hope you've had a great Summer and that there has been much more laughter than tears.