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Dealing with emotions in the workplace. (Your Life).

How do employees expect their coworkers to manage their emotions? According to researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia, many employees do not want their coworkers to express any type of strong emotion--positive or negative.

Michael Kramer and Jon Hess, professors of communication, surveyed employees from a variety of different occupations and asked them to describe situations at work where emotions were managed "appropriately" or "inappropriately." They found that workers felt the sole "appropriate" way to manage negative emotions on the job was for employees to hide or "mask" their emotions. Positive emotions need to be expressed in moderation as well, according to those surveyed.

Employees expect others to hide negative emotions in order to maintain what they call "professionalism." They also expect coworkers to react to positive ones by not showing too much pleasure with promotions or raises because another employee might have missed out. "We've known for years that customer relations employees are expected to manage their emotions to express positive emotions regardless of the situation," Kramer notes. "The results of this study indicate that employees in many occupations live with the same expectations as part of acting professionally with their coworkers and bosses."

The researchers found that emotion management is not something that is taught. Rather, participants learned to manage their emotions by observing others in the workplace to learn what is and is not appropriate.
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Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2002
Previous Article:Communicating well on the job. (Your Life).
Next Article:There's no place like home, executives claim. (Your Life).

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