“Emotional Contagion” in the Workplace through Social Observation, Social Media

Emotions can be “contagious” between individuals, and can affect work group dynamics. Emotional contagion is characterized by replicating emotions displayed by others, and differs from empathy, which enables understanding another’s emotional experience without actually experiencing it, according to Virginia Commonwealth University’s S. Douglas Pugh. In addition to direct interpersonal contact, “viral emotions” can be transmitted […]

When Women Predominate in Groups: Stigma Contagion

Women in Engineering or Information Technology organizations may find themselves the only person using the women’s restroom, one advantage in light of well-documented workplace challenges associated with minority status. Men face similar challenges when they work in Human Resources, Marketing, or Communications, where more women are employed. Despite potential isolation of experiencing gender minority status, […]

Emotional Awareness Enables Focus, Risk-taking Even When “Stressed”

Greater emotional understanding enables people to quell the “incidental emotion” of anxiety while they focus on decisions, according to Wharton’s Jeremy Yip and Stéphane Côté of University of Toronto. Incidental emotions that influence decision-making have been called “the affect heuristic” by University of Oregon’s Paul Slovic, Melissa Finucane of the East-West Center, Ohio State’s Ellen […]

Workplace Incivility is Contagious, Damaging

Workplace incivility has numerous negative consequences including reduced employee engagement and productivity, according to North Carolina State University’s James E. Bartlett and Michelle E. Bartlett with Florida Atlantic University’s Thomas G. Reio. Rudeness in the workplace is contagious and leads people to be vigilant for subsequent slights, reported University of Florida’s Trevor Foulk, Andrew Woolum, and […]

“Surface Acting” At Work Leads to Stress Spillover

Employers, employees, and benefits providers recognize that experiences at work can affect employees’ quality of life outside of work. This linkage has spawned workplace Employee Assistance Programs, on-site medical centers, concierges, meals, and fitness centers in the US. When employees mask their true feelings in work situations, they engage in “surface acting” — displaying appropriate, but unfelt […]

Facades of Conformity and Surface Acting: Stress for Women, Minorities

When employees mask their true feelings in work situations, they may engage in “surface acting” — or displaying appropriate, but unfelt facial expressions, verbal interactions, and body language. Surface acting at work was associated with emotional exhaustion, work-to-family conflict, and insomnia outside of work for more than 70 volunteers in a high stress public service occupation, […]

Collaboration Can Encourage Corruption, Lying

Many corporations encourage collaboration and make it part of culture statements and annual performance reviews. Cisco Systems, for example, defined collaboration as “working across boundaries, building teams, managing conflict, earning trust, and recognizing good performance,” part of the CLEAD performance management and development system. Ability to collaborate develops in childhood and is associated with positive […]

Managing Collective Emotions Affects Leader Reputation, Impact

People in groups and crowds demonstrate collective affect, according to Gustave Le Bon, who asserted that individuals in these contexts collectively act with “impulsiveness, irritability, incapacity to reason, the absence of judgment of the critical spirit, the exaggeration of sentiments…” even if these are not their usual individual behaviors. Well before the rise of charismatic […]

Recognizing, Coping with Long-Lasting Emotions

Most people feel sad longer than they feel ashamed, surprised, irritated or bored because sadness is most often triggered by important events that require time for emotional and cognitive processing, according to University of Leuven’s Philippe Verduyn and Saskia Lavrijsen. This finding that emotions triggered by personally-important events are longer-lasting may seen intuitively obvious, but […]

Biased Time Perception – Mind Time, Clock Time, and Einstein

Eminent physicist and everyone’s favorite genius, Albert Einstein, suggested that most people have a biased perception of time: “The distinction between past, present and future is an illusion, although a persistent one.” More than half a century after Einstein’s groundbreaking theories of relativity a pioneering psychologist   Rorschach expert Molly Harrower illustrated the emotional component of […]