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Emotional Labor: The Colonel’s Secret Recipe (For Success)


The good news: I didn’t start calling myself, “The Colonel,” since the last time I wrote you.

The even-better-news (than the good news): I have two words for you that can, if employed properly, change your entire 2013 and make it the best year you’ve ever had.

Emotional Labor.

What is it? Well to tell you the truth, it’s probably not the kind of emotional labor you’ve heard of before. It’s not acting or putting on affected emotions to illicit a favorable response or outcome you’re looking for.

My version of Emotional Labor is this:

  • Taking that extra phone call with that certain overbearing client.
  • Meeting with someone in person for 30 minutes when a phone call could’ve sufficed.
  • Explaining yourself for the second (and third) time.
  • Making that connection for the person whom you’re not sure will ever help you.
  • Adding value to your network with informative blog posts or free advice, even when you’re exhausted and don’t feel like it.

Emotional labor is somewhat difficult to define. But it’s a little like customer service or that extra love you put into making a great dinner for family or a significant other. It’s letting your existing network—and people who are just getting to know you—that you’re trustworthy, relevant, and you care about them. Keep supplying Emotional Labor and they’ll keep drinking from your well.

If you don’t put forth even a little Emotional Labor then you’re just a name, a number, or replaceable window dressing. But you’re more than that aren’t you?

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