Image Credit @gapingvoid on Instagram


This event has been and gone but you don’t have to miss out – you can watch the recording HERE.


A 3-minute read.


Humans are emotional beings and yet many people feel pressure to hide their feelings at work. In the midst of a global pandemic that is impacting every area of life and filling our newsfeed and watercooler chats from dawn till dusk, it may not be feasible or even preferable to force ourselves to “keep it together” or to expect other people to do so.

For all the talk about bringing our whole selves to work, how many of us feel that this is really what is wanted? We put untold amounts of energy and attention into managing impressions, keeping up appearances, and suppressing emotions we’ve been told are unacceptable.

Creating an emotionally inclusive culture, where people know that it’s not just okay but desirable to talk about and express healthy emotion, might just be a game-changer as we endeavour to navigate through the complex change and tough times of the coming months and years.

But do leaders and teams have the mindsets, confidence, and capability to do it?


I’m joined by Jeremy Dean, ex-professional cricketer, Founder of riders&elephants, and creator of the hugely successful Emotional Culture Deck, to talk about :

  • humans as emotional beings
  • why the concept of ‘a game’ is important when leading emotion-centred conversations
  • mindsets and behaviours that can get in the way sharing our feelings at work; and
  • creating environments, at work and at home, that give people permission to feel and be fully human.

This FREE leadership development session starts promptly at 2.00pm for ONE hour on Wednesday 29 July  **THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT**

If you can’t make this event and/or only want to access the recorded session, please do not register. We will send out a recording the week following the session as part of our regular Fully Human update.  If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to FULLY HUMAN HERE.

In preparation, please:

  • Ensure you don’t have a meeting finishing immediately before this (give yourself at least 10 mins for a leg stretch, loo break, and grabbing a glass of water)
  • Be on-line and good to go with your other devices off, including email alerts (a session like this takes all your attention and we’d hate you to miss anything)
  • Have a pen and paper handy (we still love analog note-taking!)


Kate Billing and Jeremy Dean

Kate Billing:

Kate is the Founder & Creative Director of Blacksmith and she is on a mission to put the tricky business of being FULLY HUMAN at the centre of how we live, lead and work.

Kate believes it’s time for a new kind of leader. Human-centred leaders who together will create the world we need for our shared future. Leaders who are examples of what’s possible when we commit to the deepest levels of humanity and responsibility in the ways that we live, lead and do business.

For nearly 25 years she has worked in the people, culture and leadership space, building a reputation for sharp insights, compassionate challenge, warmth and energy. Always connected to her diverse global community, Kate brings the best of what’s happening out there to New Zealand and takes the best of our home-grown wisdom to the world.

Connect with Kate on LinkedIn

Jeremy Dean:

Jeremy is the founder of riders&elephants, a Wellington-based company designing simple, human games to help leaders reimagine the way people connect and grow. A lot of this involves using beautifully simple tools that unlock emotion-led communication about workplace culture and customer experiences. He believes that “F-word conversations” about how people truly feel in their workplaces are the key to helping people thrive, lift the culture of teams, and increase overall performance.

In 2018, after four years of development, riders&elephants successfully launched The Emotional Culture Deck, their first card-based game. The ECD is used in 36 countries by over 30,000 people in organisations including IBM, Netflix, IAG, Xero, Starbucks, Westpac, Air New Zealand, Panasonic, Daimler, and New Zealand Rugby. In 2019, the company launched a new game called The Customer Experience Deck and they’re currently designing The Wellbeing Deck.

In a previous life, Jeremy was a professional cricketer but his dream career came to a screeching halt in 2009. He struggles daily with anxiety and imposter syndrome and has also been part of highly dysfunctional cultures and teams. Fortunately, he ‘eats his own cooking’ and is the self-proclaimed biggest user of his company’s games, developing ways to manage and now share his experiences in order to help others.

I hope you’ll join Jeremy and me to explore the importance and value of embracing all that we are as emotional beings, at work and in life.