Question Of the Week #35

Hello SCG,

inspiration for 35th Question Of the Week originated in the latest post of Seth Godin, where he says: The emotional labor of engaging with the work and increasing the energy in the room is precisely what you sell.”

I would like to hear your take on emotional labor.

What is emotional labor? How can you distinguish between emotional worker and non-emotional one? Do you know any emotional laborers? Do you know a company, which raise emotional workers?



  1. Emotional labour is when you present emotion rather than a product. Seth Godin’ s example is a Steward(ess) who’s job it is to be nice to people and make them feel comfortable as they fly.

    We all have days where we don’t feel like being happy and nice. If you force yourself to be happy and nice, it will make you feel better in the short term (as endorphins are released), but it does take a toll by the end of the day.

    When it is important to present a specific face to the world, you are doing emotional labour.

    • Hey Frances,
      thanks for your comment, which left me with these questions to you and to SCG:

      Cannot you present a product with emotion embedded in it?
      Is not it possible to do an emotional labor when you are working in your cubicle on accounting spreadsheets? Don’t we all have only one face to present to the world, our face?What about an artist who put up his rural painting, is not he doing emotional labor, as he is exposing himself to the world?


  2. I like the distinction between the product and the experience. When there’s two products, the one with the superior experience wins in the long run.

    • You just nailed it J.D. (again!)
      Yes, it is about experience we can create by our emotional labor involvement.
      Whole life is about experiencing the experience, isn’t it?

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