Doing what we don’t feel like doing

It doesn’t take much to be yourself. You just need to have enough confidence to disclose your true feelings, with sufficient guts to bounce back from personal rejection.

On the face of it, being your true self sounds good.

But you’re not a professional If you do your best work by being your true self, you’re a lucky amateur. Lucky because you have a job where whatever you feel like producing in a given moment actually helps you move things forward.

And there’s often a good deal of avoiding happening too—avoiding the important work that’s needed to enable change. If all you do is follow your (one-size-fits-all) process, you’ll probably discover that the process is leading you towards a dead-end, and it’s blinkering you from seeing the important work that needs doing.

For the rest of us, there’s the chance to be a professional, to exercise emotional labour in search of empathy—the empathy to stand into your stakeholder’s shoes, to see what they desire, to understand what they want to hear.

Emotional labour means doing the hard work. It’s about gritting our teeth when dealing with challenges, or biting our tongue when we know listening will have a greater impact.

We don’t do business analysis work because we feel like it in the moment. We do business analysis work, the exhausting emotional labour, because we’re professionals, and because we want to enable change.

Emotional labour is the work we do to facilitate.

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