“Supervisors learn to identify their own emotions and encounter their employees through practice,” says Taina Hintsa, Professor.
Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland studied the links between emotional skills, well-being and recovery. The Finnish Work Environment Fund selected supervisors from the hospitality and restaurant sector, heads of schools and sports coaches as subjects for its research project.
“Coaches, heads and supervisors influence other people in their work. Their emotional skills play an important role in the performance and well-being of others,” says Taina Hintsa, Professor.
The programme lasted for six months, during which time the participants focused on emotions and interaction. In addition to generating new research information, the aim of the project was to develop and implement an emotional skills programme.
“At the startup seminar and meetings, we discussed emotional skills and individual differences, such as how the same situation can feel difficult for some, while others find it an exciting challenge,” Hintsa says.
Emotional intelligence means that the person is able to recognise and process their own emotions.
During the programme, the participants also learned about practising emotional skills.
“We asked the participants to write about something that happened to them in their free time, how it made them feel and how the situation was resolved. Then they did the same exercise concerning their workplace,” Hintsa says.
The aim of the writing assignment was to learn to recognise one’s own emotions, which supports the development of emotional skills. Emotional intelligence means that the person is able to recognise and process their own emotions.
“Our experiences affect the development of emotional skills. When we recognise our own emotions, it is also easier for us to take the emotions of others into account.
Recognising what is important to us can also support recovery.
Better emotional skills also support recovery after work. The programme helped the supervisors pay more attention to their own recovery.
“Emotions guide us in determining what kinds of activities are appealing or off-putting to us. When we learn to recognise our own emotions, it becomes easier to notice what is important to us. Recognising what is important to us can also support recovery,” Hintsa says.
In the feedback, people noted how their supervisor listens more and has more time for them.
The participants felt that the programme helped them encounter others and provided them with tools for challenging interactive situations. It also developed their ability to recognise their own emotions and pay attention to recovery.
After the programme, the employees and participants had the opportunity to give anonymous feedback to the supervisors, heads and coaches.
“In the feedback, people noted how their supervisor listens more and has more time for them,” Hintsa concludes.