“Developing emotional agency should be part of the strategy of all companies,” says Päivi Hökkä, who has studied continuous learning.
The impact of emotions on work has been studied for decades, and the evidence is clear: emotions affect everything within the organisation, from strategic leadership to individual tasks.
Directors play an important role in the emotional atmosphere of workplaces. The director’s or supervisor’s manner of handling and expressing their own emotions also serves as an example for the work community.
For these reasons, emotional agency and leadership that takes emotions into account should be included in the company’s strategy by systematically building a good emotional atmosphere in the workplace.
Despite the research findings, emotions are still not understood as an important resource at work.
In Finland, strategic leadership is at a good level, but leadership that takes emotions into account is still in its infancy. Despite the research findings, emotions are still not understood as an important resource at work.
Maybe many companies still perceive emotions as irrational, something that is not connected with sensible and profitable operations – the opposite of rational activities.
However, taking emotions into account in management is an important part of the company’s operations, because positive emotions, such as motivation and trust, improve the ability to solve problems and tolerate setbacks. Negative emotions, on the other hand, limit our thinking and prevent finding new solutions.
Emotional agency is not an inherent feature but a skill that can be learned.
Management that takes into account emotions means recognising genuine emotions and understanding how different emotions affect work and the workplace atmosphere. In addition, it is the ability to strengthen positive emotions and the ability and courage to face and address negative emotions.
Management that takes into account emotions does not mean encouraging employees to cry, scream for joy or swear in the workplace whenever they feel like it. Nor does it mean false positivity.
Emotional agency is not an inherent feature but a skill that can be learned. Just being aware of emotions is an important first step.
Developing the emotional atmosphere of the workplace can start with the basics, such as saying hello to colleagues and asking how they are doing – encountering them.