Influencing others by showing emotion: a new emotional ability? (Study, in BPS OccupationalDigest)

“…consequences of these displays. Anger at those who have neglected their duties can provoke them to redouble their efforts, guilt displays increase the likelihood of forgiveness, and positive emotions can result in more pro-social behaviour. Clearly there is an advantage to being adept at these displays, and the authors point out at least two ways in which one can be better. One is displaying the right emotion for the situation; considerations include the communication medium, as some emotions, such as anger, are displayed more strongly via the voice than the face (and the reverse can be true). Another is displaying that emotion effectively, facilitated by approaches such as ‘deep acting’ which tries to change the emotion itself, contrasting surface acting, which just acts on behaviour and can be perceived as inauthentic.
We all know that people are influenced by the emotional reactions of those around them. But it’s valuable to recognise the ways this does and doesn’t work, know its genuine workplace consequences, and be aware that this may be better treated as an ability, rather than an unaccountable influence in the workplace.”

Côté, S., & Hideg, I. (2011). The ability to influence others via emotion displays: A new dimension of emotional intelligence. Organizational Psychology Review, 1 (1), 53-71.
DOI: 10.1177/2041386610379257

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