When it comes to the social side of corporate life, most of us are familiar with certain personality types and behaviors that spell trouble: people who gossip or flirt a lot; people who spend lots of time stirring up drama. But are there any dangers on the other end of the spectrum-- for people who stay out of all that and just focus on completing tasks? Actually, yes. I call it No Crying in Baseball syndrome.
You may have seen the movie, A League of Their Own, about a professional women’s baseball team. Tom Hanks played the disgruntled coach who—upon seeing tears on the face of a player he’d just lambasted—exclaimed in horror, “There’s no crying in baseball!”
Some people have that same attitude about work: the office is clearly an emotion-free zone. Their professional demeanor never seems to change. They seem completely unflappable. When crises arise and others panic, they calmly tackle the problem and resolve it. In many ways, they’re like heroes. So why do many people with No Crying in Baseball syndrome find their career paths blocked?
The problem is, while they calmly manage and delegate tasks, they’ve neglected to learn how to interact successfully with people. After all, an organization is made up of people who have emotions, who have lives outside the office, and who must cooperate to reach shared goals. The best leaders understand that concept and work effectively within that context. They know how to connect.