The Emotional Ripple Effect by Kate Bacchus

Article reposted from Karte Bacchus Linkedin >>

I'm on a journey to become a Certified ECD Consultant, and part of that journey has been in the power of sharing the Emotional Culture Deck cards with leaders and unlocking the impact of crafting workplace cultures factoring emotions.

Over the last month, I've chatted with leaders in the NFP sector, the volunteering community, business owners, entrepreneurs, and leaders of teams in corporate environments.

All these leaders are experts in their own fields and have similar and yet different needs for themselves and for their teams or stakeholders that they're working with.

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Playing with the ECD cards unlocked powerful conversations of self-awareness and reflection, and passion for how they want their people to feel, connect, and be motivated.

For me, I think about workplace culture as 'what we do and how we treat each other each day at work'. It's a combination of Emotions + Beliefs + Actions = Culture.

This means that Culture is strongly impacted by leaders, environments, systems, rituals, etc but also by team members too. It's connected by the 'emotions' or feelings of these people collectively in the workplace.

Some of the top takeaways from these 1:1 discussions, have been:

  • Realising that these leaders are often thinking about others, how to make work bigger, better, faster, more profitable, more accessible, more scaleable etc, BUT it's important as a leader to take stock of where you're at first or if your energy is low 'put on your oxygen' mask. So in playing with the ECD cards and talking about change, stakeholder engagement, crafting workplace cultures, and identifying values - all these discussions first started with checking in with the leader and how they're feeling. It can be a lonely place, and sometimes we have emotions rattling around in our brains that are better served to be identified, labelled and then understood or actioned!💛
  • There is a deep need for human connection, but often we don't have the tools, settings or vocab to help us connect. With the Emotional Culture Deck, you pick up the cards - play and connect - it's a tactile way of unlocking what you're feeling and certainly a nudge to vulnerability. This is a really powerful tool for a leader.
"... at first you can feel uncomfortable, especially for myself I like to hide my emotions but along the way, the more we talk about feelings the more I unravel and feel in a comfortable and safe place to share. Main benefit of cards for me is helping me break down my experiences and emotions and putting a name to what I feel - words that identify those feelings..." - Alisi
  • There is a ripple effect. We work in a competitive, time-poor world with a strong need to measure time, effort and results. I get all that, but I also understand the ripple effect - the power of one powerful discussion, an ability to re-set an equilibrium, plan actions which mean a change for one person - but they interact with many ... so this results in positive changes rippling outwards. This can build trust with others, and grow empathy, and connection.
  • Within many work environments and community settings, there have been an inherent focus on 'staying positive' and shying away from talking about or dealing with the negative or potentially negative ways people are or might be feeling. But whether you share them or not, people are feeling them - so having a way to connect and share so there is a common understanding and platform to move forward is so powerful. For example, change within workplaces or in creating a new working partnership on a joint venture - it's likely something has gone wrong before or you have a different lense from those around you - so if you have a way to share these, then you're building trust and a strong platform of communication, clarity and shared expectations!
"It's more than ok to examine what we perceive as negative emotions and understand strategies to flip them." - Amanda

It's been incredibly insightful and positive to be able to connect and share with these leaders. To coach, reflect, re-centre and introduce them to tools that help solve challenges in their workplaces around culture, change, ways of working, etc, along with enjoying a good coffee.

If you're interested to know more about emotions within workplace culture, read this HBR article, Manage Your Emotional Culture ( - it's a great place to start, or reach out to me and we can have a play with the cards and talk through challenges and opportunities to connect with the ECD cards and note the positive ripple effect of connecting to our emotions.

Learm more about HR Butter here >>


Let’s flip what the world feels. Check out The Emotional Culture Deck – the #1 game for better workplace culture. Use it to create and amplify human conversations about what matters in the workplace. Download a free Lo-fi PDF version of the deck here: 


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