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Every year I attend Summer Brand Camp, there are always several messages that speak straight to my mind and heart. I really like that they flip the idea of business, marketing, operations and human resources on its head. I’ve been told to always be professional and present that physically and through my communication at all times to gain credibility. Don’t display emotion – people think you are unstable. Especially if you’re a woman! Don’t voice your opinions, don’t speak. You’re too young to know better. Don’t do that! You can’t be successful without playing the game first.

The messages that I heard last week from Chris Ebbeler & Dom Perry of Chili’s Grill & Bar, Wendy Clark of Coke and keynote speaker Tommy Spaulding shows that the advice above is completely wrong. Chris and Dom’s presentation featured a video of their internal development conference with the quote “Silence is not an option. If you don’t not speak your truth, it will be spoken for you” and Wendy’s presentation included the message that when passion and curiosity intersect, brave things begin to occur. Tommy’s presentation talked about how it is so important to build meaningful relationships with others and how those relationships really change lives. These messages taken together tell me that having a purpose in what you do, displaying passion and curiosity and having emotions and feelings is ESSENTIAL to being a positive impact within your life and organization.

As Chris and Dom noted, the marketplace overall has changed – we aren’t transactional, 1:1 business’ anymore. Consumers and individuals have values that are driven by emotions. They care about if businesses are authentic and doing the right thing or even going above doing the bare minimum “right” thing. They like to see that brands are genuine, authentic, transparent and most importantly – human. Brands want to have humans working for them too – you can’t display a human element with a bunch of robots working for you. Being human is staying connected, having feelings and having a burning passion for things. Personal stories, struggles, failures and successes are all a part of being human too.

This goes the same internally for organizations as well – Change the word “consumer” to the word “employee” and the message is the same. Employees want to be challenged, they want to be seen! I’ve worked in organizations where I felt like people knew “Belinda” but I’ve also worked in organizations where I felt like a serial number. Guess which one I was happier in? Produced more? Created more? Innovated more? Change the word “consumer” to the word “employee” and the message is the same. People want to feel human and valued – it’s in our nature!

Belinda Smith is the Digital Recruiting Manager at CROSSMARK, follow her on Twitter.