Work teams who openly express their negative feelings share more information, have greater solidarity and are better at solving complicated analytical problems, a new study has found.
Many businesses and organisations want employees to limit negative emotions and only show positive ones. But a study from the Netherlands suggests that isn't always the right strategy.
Participants were shown cheerful or sad films and then monitored as they worked together on difficult decision-making tasks. Groups who saw a sad film and then talked about it before they started their task did the best on their assignment.
Working as a team
Dutch researcher Annefloor Klep also gave certain groups the impression that there was a problem with their relationships. If the members of these groups talked about these problems, they quickly put them aside and worked as a team on their task.
The study also found that sharing positive emotions can help with creative tasks, especially if team members are sure about their feelings. However, a team handled analytical tasks better if its members shared negative emotions.
Sharing emotions can benefit teams that often work together over long periods of time, Klep concluded.
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