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Teaching managers to regulate their emotions better : insights from emotional intelligence training and work-based application

Thory, Kathryn (2013) Teaching managers to regulate their emotions better : insights from emotional intelligence training and work-based application. Human Resource Development International, 16 (1). pp. 4-21. ISSN 1367-8868

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Despite the prevalence and significance of regulating emotions in the workplace, there is a major gap in the literature on the training and work-based use of emotion regulation strategies. this study seeks ot fill this gap by investigating how emotion regulation strategies are taught to managers on three emotional intelligence training courses, the events associated with their use in the workplace and any constraints. Drawing on qualitative data from participant observations and interviews with managers and trainers, the study identifies the use of eight emotion regulation strategies which are classified as attention deployment, cognitive change and response modulation. Managers use a variety of the strategies at work, sometimes combining and adapting them. The strategies were reportedly used during situations of interpersonal conflict, interpersonal interactions, organisational change, to relieve boredom and cope with work overload. Managers described constraints as dispositional, physical, time, effort, status and unfeasibility/lack of realism of tools.