Emotions in the Workplace
Emotions and mood can affect temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation. They can affect a person's physical well-being, judgement, and perception. Emotions play a critical role in how individuals behave and react to external stimuli; they are often internalized enough for people to fail to notice when they are at work. Emotions and mood can cloud judgment and reduce rationality in decision-making.
All moods can affect judgment, perception, and physical and emotional well-being. Long-term exposure to negative moods or stressful environments can lead to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and ulcers. The decision-making effects of any kind of bad mood can hinder a person's job performance and lead to poor decisions that affect the company. In contrast, a positive mood can enhance creativity and problem solving. However, positive moods can also create false optimism and negatively influence decision making.
Emotions are reciprocal with mood, temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation. Emotions can be influenced by hormones and neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and seratonin. Dopamine can affect a person's energy level and mood, while seratonin can affect critical-thinking skills. As emotion is largely a chemical balance (or imbalance) in the mind, emotions can quickly cloud judgment and complicate social interactions without the individual being consciously aware that it is happening.
Emotions are complex and move in various directions. Modeling emotional feelings and considering their behavioral implications are useful in preventing emotions from having a negative effect on the workplace.
The implication for behavior is important for both managers and subordinates to understand. Workers must try to identify objectively when an emotional predisposition is influencing their behavior and judgement and ensure that the repercussions of the emotion are either positive or neutralized. Positive emotions can be a great thing, producing extroversion, energy and job satisfaction. However, both positive and negative emotions can distort the validity of a decision. Being overconfident, for example, can be just as dangerous as being under-confident.
By encouraging positive employee management relationships and employee dynamics, an organization may be able to balance a person's mood and emotions. Improving the level of job satisfaction for employees is another way that a company can influence an employee's mood. If a person is satisfied at work, that condition may reduce levels of stress and help influence motivation and disposition. Job satisfaction can affect a person's mood and emotional state. Providing organizational benefits, such as a company gym, meditation classes, or company retreats, can likewise influence a person's emotions. An active lifestyle has been shown to produce an increased level of dopamine, which can enhance energy and mood.
Managers are tasked not only with monitoring and controlling their own moods and emotions, but also with recognizing emotional issues in their subordinates. Managers should strive to balance the emotions of their subordinates, ensuring nothing negatively affects their mental well-being. This can be a difficult role for management, as many people display their emotions in different ways (and most tend to hide them, particularly at work). Managers must be both perceptive and strategic in ensuring a mental balance at work.