Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Better managers 'fake emotions'

Research suggests better managers often fake emotions at work

Better managers often fake emotions at work, especially when dealing with staff, a study has revealed.

Research by psychologist Chiara Amati showed that good leaders did not always have to be open and honest.

The most effective managers could feign emotions, such as looking pleased with a new member of staff to boost their confidence, or holding back feelings of anger, said Ms Amati, of Edinburgh Napier University.

The study among dozens of managers in education found that the most effective ones could override unhelpful, private thoughts.

"Managers reported feeling obliged to monitor their public displays of emotion in order to manage staff performance and maintain good working relationships with their team," said Ms Amati.

"We have known for some time that the emotional climate in the workplace is a key factor in employee wellbeing and performance.

"What we have established is just how important it is that managers 'perform', or put on a public emotional show, even if they don't feel like it."

The study will be presented to the British Psychological Society's occupational psychology conference in Chester.

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