John Peters, Chorus

Recently Chorus became the latest organisation to adopt The Emotional Culture Deck within their organisation. The Test Team, lead by Head of Testing John Peters, is the first team at Chorus to get stuck into using the deck.

We kicked things off last Wednesday by running the Emotional Culture Deck Pilot Workshop with the team. The response from the team that went through this Pilot Workshop has been overwhelming.

I chatted with John a few days after the workshop and asked him a few questions about his motivations and drivers behind injecting The Emotional Culture Deck into his team at Chorus. 

John, I know that the people at Chorus are proud of the family culture that exists within the organisation. So why did you choose to use the Emotional Culture Deck with your team at Chorus?

I wanted to do something different when it comes to the way we talk about and work together to strengthen our team culture. Part of this was doing something to bring the team closer together with regards to understanding the way in which emotions impact us at work both positively and negatively. I saw The Emotional Culture Deck as an opportunity to bring people out from behind their ‘protective shells’ so to speak and feel as though they could openly express themselves to the wider group through using the cards as talking points.

What did you hope to achieve by using The Emotional Culture Deck with your team?

The goal was to achieve greater understanding and consideration for the range of emotions team members go through in the work environment and start a journey to help them reduce ‘negative’ feelings and promote more positive emotions in the workplace. Ultimately a team that is collectively experiencing more pleasant emotions should lead to improved communication, higher levels of supportiveness and increased productivity.

Did you have any hesitations about The Emotional Culture Deck before you and the team went through the Pilot Workshop

I was a little fearful the team would not embrace the concept and be defensive and guarded in terms of the desire to share and discuss their inner emotions and how they influence the work they do and our team culture. It turned out the opposite happened. 

What were some of the (good) surprises from the Pilot Workshop?

I was surprised by the openness shown by the team. They were so willing to discuss their emotions and feelings and in particular and I wasn’t sure this would definitely occur – even though you had mentioned that this is the norm, not the exception when teams use the deck. I guess I had to see it to believe it. The interaction between certain individuals also surprised me as they found common ground and we all agreed on the top five feelings we collectively want to put at the heart of our team culture. 

What would you say to other leaders if they're thinking about using The Emotional Culture Deck or going through the Pilot Workshop?

I’d recommend any leaders and their teams to go through this ECD workshop if they truly believe that people are the foundation of a positive and supportive workplace environment. This workshop and in particular the cards allows individuals the opportunity to explore and express the wide range of emotions felt in the workplace in a “safe” environment and enables us as leaders to embrace these findings and start a continuous improvement process for our people.

What are you going to do next with what you uncovered using the decks in the Pilot Workshop?

There is already a plan in place to revisit our workshop outcomes and put in place a ‘start’, ‘stop’, ‘change’ process. We’ll continue to meet as a team and talk about how we are feeling at work and as a leader, I am arranging ways in which I can address individual and the team’s collective emotions at 1:1’s.

If you're interested to learn more about Pilot Workshops click here. Or get in touch with