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Emotion in the Workplace

Emotion in the Workplace: How Much Should Managers Focus On It?

Have you ever been accused of being too “touchy-feely?” Or have you avoided that label as if it were an insult? If the term “touchy-feely” gets used around your office, it probably doesn’t get defined and may mean different things to different people.

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Most of us would probably define “touchy-feely” as describing a manager who puts too much emphasis on people’s feelings and consequently, de-emphasizes the importance of job performance. This can be a particularly critical issue, because managers need emotional intelligence to determine the best approach to leading their employees and achieving high levels of performance from them. But, sometimes they focus on emotions too much.

How do you create a positive balance of emotional intelligence in the workplace? Do you consider the feelings of your employees or do you de-emphasize the importance of emotion in the workplace hoping that the employees will be able to deal with the emotional aspects of the business issues that affect them on their own? In order for us to determine what the best leadership approach is when it comes to considering employee feelings, we must look at the fundamentals of how employees perform their best work.

The Fundamentals of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Humans Are Emotional Creatures

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Humans are emotional creatures and our leadership techniques should consider this very important aspect of them. It is important for us to realize that our employees are emotionally impacted by business decisions that are made, work assignments they are asked to do, people they are asked to work with, recognition they are expecting, performance feedback they are given, and yes, even salary increases.

But, dealing with human emotion in the workplace can be a very challenging and complex issue and it is not surprising that many managers will be unsure and unequipped with how to deal with it. Addressing feelings incorrectly can have serious implications for the manager and can even determine whether or not they have what it takes to be a leader.

The fact is that good leaders consider the feelings of their employees and ensure that their employees know they are taking their feelings into consideration as they manage them.

In my next two posts, I will discuss the extremes on either side of this issue and then give recommendations for making productive and positive choices as a manager.


John Sporleder
Sporleder Human Capital

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