Group Emotions and Leadership
Groups are part of life. Most of us have belonged to one, be it a book club, work team, charity, or sports team; any group of people aiming for a common goal. Some groups work together harmoniously and get things done, while others induce dread at the thought of yet another meeting.
Why is that? In the video below, by the Annual Review of Organizational Psychology, we learn about how emotions affect groups of people.
Video: The Power of Emotions in Teamwork
Groupthink and Emotions for Teamwork
You may have heard the word “Groupthink,” a term referring to the tendency of people in groups to reinforce already held beliefs and ideas, however erroneous. What about “Group Feel?” Emotions aren’t just inside us, but ripple out to our group-mates. This is called group affect and it has been documented in all types of settings, from the military to sport teams, businesses, and classrooms. Shared experiences can evoke common emotions among group members. For example, a round of layoffs at a company can temporarily create a wave of fear, anxiety, distrust, and anger. If the strong organizational emotional culture of a company allows people a range of emotions, then group performance can increase even during times of stress.
In another example, at long-term care facilities, when norms are for staff to express caring, compassion, and bonding among themselves, they are more caring with their patients.
Conversely, a persistently limiting group affect can lower morale and productivity. The way leaders show emotions is the single most important factor in determining group affect. Charismatic leaders can help groups navigate and transform their emotions to further collective goals.
Leadership, Emotions, and Team
What are the practical applications for managing group emotions? When forming teams, the video’s authors recommend paying attention to the emotional tone of the group. Managers can create a distinct emotional culture that affects the entire team. Be mindful of the emotions you are expressing. As a leader, your emotions may influence, for better or for worse, your team’s collaborative work environment and results.
Read the associated article: http://arevie.ws/groupaffect
Would you like to learn more? It’s possible to measure the emotional climate of a classroom or school, or the emotional climate of team, or an organization and its leaders. Six Seconds has tools to assess leadership skills, brain styles and talents, and team and classroom climate. For more information on how you can use emotions effectively to motivate your group and increase vitality, please contact us: