I was amazed by a feature on a news website about Japanese companies hiring people to make their staff cry. The logic behind this initiative is that it’s supposed to help people bond.
The story recounted tales of people sitting in a conference room watching sad films and then crying inconsolably; of muffled sobs and sniffing noises; of tears streaming down faces. Apparently Japanese people are not used to crying in front of people, but a trained “weeping boy” will facilitate a crying workshop which encourages everyone to cry together . . . and once they do that, the environment changes. Revealing their vulnerability is thought to bring people together so they can work better as a team.
I’m not sure this type of workshop would be for me – not that I’m ever reticent to show my emotions – but the idea of being forced to come together with this sole intent sits a little uncomfortably.
But I do know that it’s good to access your feelings, and if this is what it takes for some people to be able to do it, then let’s not knock it as a technique.
Excuse me . . . could you pass me a handkerchief?