Theories of Emotional Intelligence

Topics: Emotion, Employment, Feeling Pages: 7 (2039 words) Published: November 3, 2010

Over the past decade, increasing attention has been given to how workers express emotions in a variety of work settings. An under researched, aspect of the literature on emotions in organizational life concerns employers attempts to control and direct how employees display emotions to customers. Emotions are a double-edged sword at work. Emotions are ancient mechanisms that mobilize us to deal quickly with important interpersonal encounters. They have both a primal aspect and a motivational aspect. Emotions act as primal beacons, guiding us along the path of survival. There was a time when emotions in the workplace were considered important in relation to employee well being and job satisfaction only. In recent years, the organizations have realized that employee emotions are pervasive in the workplace. The emotions are not only a deep-seated part of work life but have an important role to play in one's job performance. An employee's emotions and overall temperament have a significant impact on his job performance, decision making skills, team spirit, leadership and turnover. It is believed that employees bring their feelings of anger, fear, love and respect with them when they come to work. An employee's emotions are essential to what happens in an organization. Emotions matter because they drive one's performance.


* Emotions – intense feelings that are directed at someone or something. * Myths of rationality – emotions were the antithesis of rationality and should not be seen in the workplace. * Belief that emotions of any kind are disruptive in the workplace.


The English word 'emotion' is derived from the French emotion and émouvoir. This is based on the Latin emovere, where e- (variant of ex-) means 'out' and movere means 'move'. The related term "motivation" is also derived from movere.

An emotion is a mental and physiological state associated with a wide variety of feelings, thoughts, and behaviours. It is a prime determinant of the sense of subjective well-being and appears to play a central role in many human activities. As a result of this generality, the subject has been explored in many, if not all of the human sciences and art forms. There is much controversy concerning how emotions are defined and classified.


* Biology of Emotions – Emotions originate in the brain’s limbic system, which is different for each person. * Intensity – Different people give different responses to identical emotion-provoking stimuli. * Frequency and Duration – Some emotions occur more frequently and emotions differ in how long they last. * Emotions and Rationality – Our emotions provide important information about how we understand the world around us. * Evolutionary Psychology – States that we must experience emotions because they serve a purpose; hard to know if this is valid all the time.


Organizational Influences – Most organizations strive to be emotion-free. Cultural Influences – Cultures vary in:
* Degree to which people experience emotions.
* Interpretation of emotions.
* Norms for the expression of emotions.


* Personality – Predisposes people to experience certain moods and Emotions. Affect intensity affects the strength of the emotion. * Day of week and Time of day – More positive interactions will likely occur from mid-morning onwards and also later in the week. * Weather – Not impact according to research.

* Stress – Increased stress worsens moods.
* Social Activities – Usually increase positive mood and have little effect on negative mood. * Sleep – Less sleep or poor quality sleep increases negative emotions. * Exercise – Enhances positive mood.

* Age – Older people experience negative emotions less frequently. * Gender – Women show greater emotional expression, experience emotions more...
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