Emotions in organizations.

To conduct an orchestra you need to know your people. But first the conductor has to be aware about his own reaction’s before he/she can learn about others. It will then be easier to gain understanding and insight in people’s need’s and wishes.

John Elster ref: Fineman say’s:

“Most simply, emotions matter,if we did not have them nothing else would matter.

Creatures without emotion would have no reason for living nor, for that matter,

for committing suicide….Emotions are the stuff of life. Emotions are the most

important bond or glue that links us together”. (Fineman, 2004 ref: Inger Lise 2006)

To gain the right picture of emotions, Fineman continues to say: ” There is the subjective element of emotions; what we feel. And there is the displayed feature of emotion, what we show.

What we show of our feelings, our emotional performance, is heavily influenced by social conventions and the impressions we wish to convey to others. It is socially constructed.

Feelings and emotions are usually short – term and attached to a particular object or occurrence: “angry with Jane” “jealous of John”, “delighted with the gift”. They come and go fairly quickly. Some are intense and hard-driving ( like rage, spite, terror ), others more subdued. Many will be mixed, uncertain, ambivalent – love with hate, guilt with excitement, anger with embarrassment.

Moods are feelings that linger ( such as being in sad mood, depressed mood, cheerful mood ). They are not linked to any particular object or event; the cause or trigger is often obscure. They typically undulate gradually over time. We may feel gloomy all morning, but cheery by mid – afternoon, only to feel down again when we arrive home in the evening. Some people have fairly steady moods, while others are “moody”, experiencing more frequent shifts in feelings. Moods are often hard to disguise. There is one further term mentioned by writers on emotion: affect. This is an all – encompassing expression for any emotional or emotionalism activity. It is sometimes used instead of “feeling” or “emotion”. ”

Our day-to-day life , both in private and professional, will affect us emotional. To conduct an orchestra or manage a group in organizations you need to be aware of peoples emotions.

How is the culture in your organization, and how well do you know your colleague ?

Emotions is always there, that is for sure.

Inger Lise E. Greger, MSc. Change Management 


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