Passion is ugly

Every day there are calls for people to be more passionate about their work. Passion is a big buzzword when it comes to employee engagement. We use it ourselves because who doesn’t want to be passionate, and work around those who are the same? Passion is exciting and invigorating.

However, passion can also be ugly. It can scare people away and turn others off. Passionate people can be seen as too intense and opinionated. They may come off as aggressive and caring too much by those who don’t “get it”. Passionate people may be shunned for making others with less enthusiasm look bad, or for calling for change that is feared by those wanting to keep the status quo.

We say we want people to be passionate, but often we don’t know how to handle them when they are. And when we are passionate about something, it can be frustrating how others treat us. We may end up becoming discouraged and dialling it back.

Passion isn’t a solution in itself. It needs to be accepted, cultivated and managed in order to see positive results.