It’s okay to cry at work.

Once taboo, tears are now out in the open … cubicles.  According to author Anne Kreamer (It’s Always Personal), our next step is to manage those tears, positively.

In a sense, Kreamer’s findings after two years of feelings’ research expand on the concept of EQ, or emotional quotient.   EQ principles, best publicized by Daniel Goleman in the mid-1990s, have everything to do with understanding , first, then managing our behaviors at work, from customer service to interpersonal relationships. 

What’s more, past studies demonstrate that, when used the right ways, skills like self-control, empathy, and teamwork contribute mightily to the effectiveness of managers and supervisors.  [And leaders, too, we add.]

Seriously, we’re glad.  Conventional IQs, by themselves, limit our perceptions about behavior, and exclude all the things that make us human.  Like anger.  Anxiety.  Fear.  Uncertainty.  And plain old stress.

Something’s missing, though.  How about exploring a third “Q”?   We’re talking VQ, or visual intelligence quotient.  Our go-to search engine tells us the closest relative is a company that develops “cross-channel marketing intelligence software, looking for insights hidden within data.”    Amazon’s got a few puzzle books that promote Visual IQ.  Not what we were visualizing. 

A few facts supporting our VQ idea: 

  • Visual thought is 400 times faster than verbal. 
  •  For years, psychologists have demonstrated that images, way more than words, trigger a wide range of associations. 
  • When pressed, advertising gurus admit visuals, at their best, have the power to capture the essence of a brand’s differentiation. 

Plus, no surprise: Today’s media – pictures and photos, videos and films – favor the visual.  So do most generations, from Boomers to millennials.

You’ll agree, then (we hope):  Let’s incorporate VQ into our work to drive behaviors at the office – and in the marketplace.  Without that kind of intelligence, we won’t get the whole picture.