Last month, I-O Psychologists met in California to share the latest cutting-edge research. The 31st annual conference of the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology (SIOP) was a huge success. We’ve partnered with numerous SIOP presenters, and they’ve provided us with the nitty-gritty on some of the very best presentations, which we now offer to you in a multi-part series.
Leaders often have to deal with employees’ negative emotions. Whether employees are feeling anxious about a project, feeling sad about being turned down for promotion, or feeling angry about being unfairly treated, leaders play a part in managing these emotions. New research (Little, Gooty, & Williams, 2016) has shown that how these emotions get handled can affect employees’ performance and how they feel about their jobs.
Emotional intelligence is good for influencing many workplace outcomes, but can it really lead to creativity in the workplace? Some past researchers believed that the two had nothing to do with each other. They said that emotional intelligence was about figuring out the single best way to handle an emotional situation and creativity was about brainstorming many different ways of doing things. These almost sound like opposite strategies. But new research (Parke, Seo, Sherf, 2015) has found that skills and strategies associated with emotional intelligence can ultimately lead to more creativity in the workplace.
Leadership style is often indicative of the type of emotional response strategy that leaders will use when interacting with their employees. According to the researchers (Arnold, Connelly, Walsh, & Martin Ginis, 2015), leaders engage in three primary response strategies: surface acting, deep acting, and genuine emotion. They say that the type of response strategy will affect the likelihood that a leader will experience burnout. Here is a brief description of each type of acting that leaders may use:
Organizations often give top performing employees developmental job experience in order to prepare them for the next level. These experiences are useful for enhancing managerial skills, and employees with a preference for learning new things are likely to reap more benefits from them. However, research on the benefits of developmental experience shows mixed results.
Fact: All people think negative thoughts from time to time.
We may feel sad or gloomy, or find ourselves in a funk that’s hard to shake. We’re human; it happens. Attempting to suppress such feelings (or even worse, buying into them) can leave a person feeling drained.
Strong leaders know that it’s okay to think undesirable thoughts on occasion. But being a strong person means keeping things in perspective and not letting these thoughts take over. Managing your emotions is a key skill that can benefit everyone, both personally and professionally.
Topic: Emotional Intelligence
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (SEP 2011)
Article: The Primacy of Perceiving: Emotion Recognition Buffers Negative Effects of Emotional Labor
Authors: Myriam N. Bechtold, Sonja Rohrmann, Irene E. De Pater, and Bianca Beersma
Reviewed by: Mary Alice Crowe-Taylor, Ph.D.
Are jobs that require emotional labor seemingly everywhere? Well, since the service industry continues to be a growing sector of all western economies, and jobs in the service industry often do, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Employees in these jobs must manage their own feelings in order to display correct emotions for job performance. For example, to be effective, nurses need to display a range of positive emotions, and not many negative ones. This emotion regulation constitutes emotional labor and can be quite stressful.
Topic: Conflict, Emotional Intelligence, Human Resource Management
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (SEP 2011)
Article: Hot or Cold: Is Communicating Anger or Threats More Effective in Negotiation?
Authors: Sinaceur, M., Van Kleef, G. A., Neale, M. A., Adam, H., & Haag, C.
Reviewed By: Thaddeus Rada
Although there are few certainties in organizational life, the presence of conflict is one facet of organizational dynamics that is virtually guaranteed to occur from time to time. When conflict does occur, there is likely to be a negotiation process between the parties involved to resolve it, and as part of this negotiation process, two things that may be communicated are anger or threats. Although these communication strategies are similar, there are some key differences between them that may impact their effectiveness in negotiations. A new paper by Marwan Sinaceur and colleagues explores these differences.
Topic: Leadership, Teams, Emotional Intelligence, Job Satisfaction
Publication: Small Group Research (JAN 2011)
Article: Managers’ Trait Emotional Intelligence and Group Outcomes: The Case of Group Job Satisfaction
Authors: L. Zampetakis & V. Moustakis
Reviewed By: Allison B. Siminovsky
Regardless of the nature of an organization’s end goals, it is in any organization’s best interests to have employees that are satisfied with their jobs. Individual job satisfaction has been linked to increased performance and higher organizational loyalty, amongst other positive implications. It has been found in the past that individual job satisfaction and trait emotional intelligence, or one’s emotional self-awareness, are linked, as being able to identify and regulate one’s emotions has had positive effects on job satisfaction.
Topic: Emotional Intelligence, Job Performance, Leadership
Publication: Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice
Article: Emotional Intelligence: Toward Clarification of a Concept
Author: C. Cherniss
Selected commentary authors: Kaplan, Cortina, and Ruark (2010); Antonakis, J. & Dietz, J. (2010)
Reviewed by: Samantha Paustian-Underdahl
Emotional Intelligence (EI) has been one of the most popular topics studied throughout the history of I/O psychology. Given its popularity, it has been defined and measured in several different ways throughout time, leading to some confusion and controversy in the field. Cherniss (2010) argues that despite these multiple definitions and models, most researchers generally agree on what EI is: ‘‘the ability to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought, understand and reason with emotion, and regulate emotion in the self and others’’ (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2000, p. 396).
Topic: Assessment, Emotional Intelligence, Staffing
Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment (MAR 2010)
Article: Emotional intelligence in selection contexts: Measurement method, criterion-related validity, and vulnerability to response distortion
Authors: N.D. Christiansen, J.E. Janovics, and B.P. Siers
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger
Emotional intelligence (EI) is a hot topic in both the personnel selection literature and the popular business press. While there are many available measures of EI, approaches to its measurement can be organized into two general categories: (1) self-report questionnaires and (2) performance-based measures. Self-report EI questionnaires are similar to personality measures in that they treat EI as non-cognitive traits and temperaments. Performance- or ability-based EI measures, on the other hand, treat EI as a largely ability-based trait that reflects how people process information related to their emotions and the emotions of others.
Topic: Emotional Intelligence, Leadership
Publication: The Journal of Vocational Behavior
Article: Negative emotions in supervisory relationships: the role of relational models.
Author: A.M. Game
Featured by: LitDigger
If you feel negative emotions resulting from your relationship with your boss, a recent article by Game (2008) provides an interesting theoretical explanation. The author proposes that the employee’s attachment style has something to do with it. Attachment?!?! Yes, you might remember this from your developmental psych class… secure, anxious-ambivalence, avoidance…ring a bell?
To shed light on the issue of grief in the workplace, Mary Ann Hazen (2008) provided several suggestions for how managers and organizations can effectively respond to grieving employees.
Several suggestions provided by Hazen (2008) are presented below.
Topic: Emotional Intelligence, Selection
Publication: Journal of Organizational Behavior
Article: Faking emotional intelligence: Comparing response distortion on ability and trait based EI measures.
Authors: A.L. Day, S.A. Carroll
Reviewed by: Benjamin Granger
Many believe that job applicants can fake personality tests. And we know that in some cases (e.g., unproctored, online) cheating on ability tests is possible. So what else can job applicants fake? (Or what can they not fake!?)
If you feel negative emotions resulting from your relationship with your boss, a recent article by Game (2008) provides an interesting theoretical explanation. The author proposes that the employee’s attachment style has something to do with it. Attachment?!?! Yes, you might remember this from your
developmental psych class… secure, anxious-ambivalence, avoidance…ring a bell?
Topic: Emotions at Work, Leadership, Personality
Publication: Personality and Individual Differences
Article: The “dark” side of leadership personality and transformational leadership: an exploratory study.
Are you tired of all the literature linking narcissism to leadership?
Ready for a new spin? Well, buckle your safety belts and whirl around with me. A recent article by Khoo and Burch (2008) found some evidence linking a histrionic/colorful personality dimension to positively predict transformational leadership (which could be described as motivating followers to develop, perform, and reach above and beyond their goals). The authors used the Hogan Development Survey (HDS) in their analysis, and overlapped HDS’s personality themes with personality disorders in the DSM-IV. That’s how they got the “histrionic/colorful” dimension and terminology (the first term is from the
DSM-IV, and the second is from the HDS).
Topic: Emotional Intelligence, Job Performance, Wellness
Publication: Academy of Management Journal
Article: Making the break count: An episodic examination of recovery activities, emotional
experiences, and positive affect displays
Do your customer service employees do work-like activities during their breaks or maybe
even not take their breaks at all? If you care about their ability to ‘put on the happy face’ for customers, then research by Trougakos, Beal, Green & Weiss (2008) says that breaks are important.