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Are good managers honest?

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Staff writer ▼ | January 13, 2013
Yes, they are honest - as long as emotions are not in the game. Good leaders know when to leave their negative feelings at the door and how to create a positive atmosphere in the company.
Good managers
Good managersYes, they are honest - as long as emotions are not in the game. Good leaders know when to leave their negative feelings at the door and how to create a positive atmosphere in the company.


A new research suggests that managers recognize the need to feign their emotions at work, especially when interacting with staff. This is the finding of a doctoral study conducted by psychologist Chiara Amati, from Edinburgh Napier University.

In every book on management you can read that good leaders and managers are authentic, open and honest. Indeed, they should be however there is one exception: emotions. To ensure that their employees perform well in their jobs, managers need to create positive and encouraging emotions and override any unhelpful, private thoughts.

"Faking it seems, to a degree, to just be part of good people management. Managers who spoke to me reported feeling obliged to monitor their public displays of emotions in order to manage staff performance and maintain good working relationships with their team. In many management roles, especially lower down the hierarchy or ranks of power, it is more important for managers to deploy influencing skills to get people to do things; they simply do not have the authority to command unconditional respect," says Ms. Amati.

In her exploratory study, Ms. Amati interviewed 12 managers and surveyed 30. The findings present an interesting observation of the ways in which managers get results. A further finding of the study suggests that female managers may need to contrive their emotional displays more than their male counterparts. So, again we have a different situation for men and women at work.

Female mangers need to deal with contrasting stereotypes: they are expected to be warm and nurturing, not aggressive but when show emotion, such as crying, they are often seen as easy to manipulate. Thus, women, even those in circles of top management, have to fulfill radically different expectation. A good example is a female interviewee who described an incident when she was angry in a meeting. The men didn't listen what she was saying but asked “Are you OK?” In her culture that's the question when someone is hurt and she has been perceive exactly that: emotionally hurt.

We all know that good atmosphere is the key on the path to success. Now the new study shows that good leaders know, instinctively or by experience, that they can't show all emotions in public. Sometimes is better to fake a good mood to get the things done than to yell and scream. That will calm down the situation, employees will not the under the stress, and the job will be done more easily. And that's what every manager wants.


 

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