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Inside Out – The most important lesson I learned

Have you seen the new movie “Inside Out”?  No matter your age, this is a great movie for all ages.  I won’t ruin the movie for you or give away any spoilers, but there are many deep lessons in the movie that I walked away with.  However, one lesson sticks out in my mind as the most impactful, at least to me and my life.  And, it came from one of the most subtle parts of the movie.

“Inside Out” portrays the interaction of five emotions inside a little girl’s mind: 1- Joy, 2- Sadness, 3- Fear, 4- Anger, 5- Disgust.  The movie shows the girl aging and portrays how the different emotions have had an impact on her character as time has evolved.  One of the main plot lines of the movie centers around “core memories” that, at the beginning of the movie, are based solely on one of the five emotions.

Here is what I found interesting and very deep, to me personally.  At the end of the movie we see a change in the memories that are stored, including the core memories.  Instead of memories being portrayed as solely one emotion, memories are reflected as a combination of multiple emotions.  The movie only spends about 10 seconds on this change, but to me this was deep, and as I left the movie I was evaluating my own emotions and memories.  I realized, as I have spent time thinking about this, that it’s true: life experiences and memories are not solely happy, sad, frustrating, etc.  Life is a combination of emotions experienced simultaneously, and it is the combination of these emotions that defines our character and around which we shape our future.

Understanding this as an employer can make a difference as well.  Your employees are walking around with a combination of emotions, always in flux, and their past centers around core experiences that are also a combination of emotions.  Some happy, some sad, some fear, etc.  How can understanding this help you be a better employer?  Well, I bet you already have some ideas, but here are a couple I came up with.  First, understanding that your employees have a mix of emotions at all times can grant you empathy as you face difficult situations with an employee.  The struggling employee might be having difficulties outside of work that are impacting their job performance.  Second, understanding these emotions can help you better communicate with your employees.  As you communicate with them, understand that they are trying to balance fear, sadness, anger, joy, and disgust with anything you are telling them.

Finally, understanding these emotions can help you in the hiring process.  When interviewing, for example, realizing that candidates are probably fearful, disgusted, sad, angry, and happy, all at the same time, can help you sift through the interview and come to better understand the candidate.

Here at Ninja Gig, we can’t help you understand these emotions as you evaluate candidates, but at least we can make your life a little easier with great tools that make customizing and accepting job applications simple!  Feeling angry or disgusted over having to sort through paper applications?  Sign up for a free trial with Ninja Gig, setup your custom application, and start accepting employment applications immediately.  Your memory spheres will change from sadness to joy as you use our amazing technology to make you life easy.