SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 160,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: What’s your opinion of people showing their emotions and crying in the workplace?

  • It’s completely acceptable as long as it’s not affecting performance: 17.72%
  • It’s OK sometimes but only in extreme circumstances: 61.13%
  • It’s not OK and can seem disruptive and unprofessional: 17.97%
  • It’s completely wrong — keep your feelings to yourself: 3.19%

Empathy matters. Eighty percent of you understand and accept crying and emotions related to it as a natural part of the human experience. Furthermore, that realization and your acceptance of it in the workplace (as long as it doesn’t affect performance or disrupt the organization) is laudable. Too often we seem to try to segregate emotions from business. That’s impossible to do, given that business is composed of humans who run through thousands of emotions a week. If you’re not open to understanding and empathizing with the feelings of others, you might want to reconsider your desire to lead people.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”

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