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Negativity can Improve Workplace Performance

Aug 23, 2014 07:22 AM EDT
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Negative feelings at work can be good, new study suggests.

Contrary to popular belief, negative feelings such as anger at work can actually be good for the employees, according to researchers at University of Liverpool.

Their study, published in a special edition of Human Relations, shows that emotions at workplace can significantly affect employee-performance, but not in a way that is generally assumed.

"The findings of the studies published in this Special Issue challenge the widely held assumption that in the workplace positive emotions generate or engender a positive outcome, and vice versa," said Dr Dirk Lindebaum from the University's Management School, according to a news release.

According to Lindebaum, negative emotions such as anger are considered detrimental to workplace environment. However, anger can sometimes lead to better workplace performance as it can galvanize people to work together. On the other hand, positive emotions such as happiness can lead to complacency and poor work ethics.

Workers who don't agree with each other on every occasion can increase workplace discussion and not spiral into superficiality.

A related study recently found that people who can talk about their feelings and are comfortable experiencing mixed emotions report greater well-being, Medical Daily reported.

"We found that those participants who were making meaning out of their experiences with a mixture of happiness and sadness actually showed increases in their psychological well-being, compared to people who were just reporting sadness, just reporting happiness, or some other mixture of emotions," Jonathan Adler, an assistant professor of psychology at Olin College in St. Louis, told HuffPost Live.

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