THE APPRENTICE’S JESSICA CUNNINGHAM: ‘Is weakness showing emotion?'

Jessica Cunningham

Jessica Cunningham

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For those of you who watched BBC1 last Thursday at 9pm for the full hour will have mixed opinions on what being strong is.

I have noticed that in a few people's opinion they think showing emotion, crying or getting frustrated is a sign of weakness. However, being the one showing emotion, through my eye balls, I'd have to disagree (obviously).

However, if you would have asked if crying is a form of weakness a couple of years ago, I would of said a definite yes. This was, however, before experiencing many things in my short lived life where I have had to be (in the words of Beyoncé) a strong, independent woman.

And from this I know that showing emotion has nothing to do with your skill set and giving what so many males, and apparently feminists, have said crying is giving "women a bad name in business".

Where a few were quick to criticise for showing "weakness," those same few were short to praise where strength was shown. Which got me thinking: would these same people be able to keep emotion out of the way, after being demoted and humiliated, and not let emotion get in the way of team morale. I think not!

I truly believe you can not give judgement until you have walked a mile in someone's shoes. And my shoes have been hiking, caught in cobbles and are well and truly worn, so to speak.

I have worked with so many people that show emotion in many different ways. Some people show emotion through anger, some through silence and some through #itsajessthing crying a river.

However, why does emotion correlate into giving professionals a bad name in business? Surely being professional is about being able to deliver, keeping motivated, staying passionate and driven ... even when the crap hits the fan.

Everyone is capable of having a little cry under stressful and frustrating situations, and that is just how some people - including myself - deal with emotion.

I bet if I asked the question, how many of you have been worried, scared, happy, anxious, nervous or excited about your job or business?

I'm positive that all of you reading this will have experienced some form of emotion during your career, whether that is joy about a big deal that came in, anxiety about making a mistake or worry about being fired in the boardroom. Showing emotion is a natural reaction to life's situations.

In my opinion emotion and business will always coincide with each other as, when you are passionate and truly believe in something, that creates the drive which then forms a highway to success.

Some entrepreneurs and innovators' biggest decisions have been based on a gut or emotional feeling. The likes of Thomas Edison, Wright brothers, Charles Babbage and other great inventors all achieved greatness which started with an emotional feeling. And I'm pretty sure there will have been times they experienced a little cry.

To wrap it up, giving women and men a bad name in business should be judged on their ability and skill set and not how they react to an emotional situation. As, if that was the case, I wouldn't still be powering through in business.

Jessica lives in Dronfield and owns an online women’s clothing company - www.prodigalfox.com

The next episode of The Apprentice airs on BBC1 at 9pm tomorrow (Thursday December 1)