What is emotional analysis (EA) ?

Emotions make us humans. Denying them makes us beasts.
-Victoria Klein
Love, hate, anger, fear, joy, grief. All these emotions are a common experience that most human beings can identify with. As the saying goes, emotions are what makes us human. The emotions of love, hate, joy, anger, fear, jealousy, grief and pride are the most common feelings amongst all emotions.

Emotions are strong or intense feelings directed towards someone or something. If emotions were tangible there would be ten bags full of them. But that is not the case. Emotions can only be felt and therefore cannot be measured. Emotions are a large part of this world where we live in. It is how we humans build an understanding of the people and the world around us. If humans were not compassionate they would never feel the need to help others. In such a case every person would live an independent life and the world as we know it would cease to exist.

Here are a few things we need to consider- what would happen if one person never helped another, what if there was no feeling of joy at the birth of a child? And if man couldn’t be happy for his achievements? Then the world would be a completely different place. One that is emotionless at least.

Not a happy thought, is it? This is the reason why one needs to have emotions and it is also important understand its role in our lives. Most psychologists have tried to identify basic emotions in humans. The founder of modern philosophy, Rene Descartes identified six fundamental emotions what he called “simple and primitive passions”- wonder, love hatred, desire, joy and sadness and said that most emotions were a component of the above six. Other psychologists have also tried to identify different emotions.

Emotions can be classified with whether they are positive or negative. Positive emotions include feelings of love, joy, gratitude. These express positive or favourable evaluation or feeling. Contrary to positive emotions are negative emotions that express anger, fear, hatred and guilt. Grouped emotions constitute mood. Emotions like joy have a high positive effect and emotions such as nervousness have a high negative effect. Other emotions like contentment have a high positive affect and low negative effect. This model does not explain all moods but the basic rule is positive emotions result in positive moods while it is the opposite for negative emotions. A study of the above can help us understand employee behaviour at the workplace.

Another important aspect to consider while studying emotions and moods are the underlying factors- people, external environment etc. There are various factors that contribute to emotions and moods can vary from a person to person, their age and gender, even the weather!

Some people remain calm during times of crisis while some lose their temper at the smallest provocation. This happens because people have different tendencies to experience the same emotions more often than others. This a part of a person’s personality.There is a misconception that young people experience more positive emotions than the older ones. A study has proved that emotions tend to become more positive as people grow older. Another general misconception that exists is that women are more emotional than men. It is just that women tend to hold onto emotions longer than men do and they express it differently.

While talking about emotions expressed by employees we talk about a major part of their behaviour expressed that contradict their real emotions due to organisational expectations from them. We call this emotional labour. Employees express different emotions when they are on their job. One that is expected of them. A radio jockey is expected to be enthusiastic when he or she is on air even though he or she is not feeling high on enthusiasm on a particular day. Similarly an Air hostess has to serve the passengers with a smile even though she might not feel like it but that is what is expected of her. Sometimes people have to work with people they dislike so they fake their emotions. This is where they put in emotional labour into their jobs.

The important part about emotions is how one manages them which brings in the concept of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is about being self-aware. One can recognise their own emotions as well as understand what the other person is feeling. Also people with high emotional intelligence are good at reading emotional cues. It is a common belief that good managers are people who are high on this quality because of their ability to understand people better and are very intuitive. Sensitivity to others emotions makes them better communicators which adds to their appeal.

Good managers influence people’s emotions and moods, such as appreciating an employee’s work would lift their spirits or use humour in the right situations to create a positive environment and create an atmosphere of harmony and co-operation in an organisation.

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