In many modern occupations, employees' enhanced autonomy means managing challenging environments and multiple goals. In this line of research, I explore factors that are likely to enhance employees’ ability to better perform in the face of such challenges. For example, one of my studies showed how emotional intelligence helps employee deal with challenging environments to facilitate increased creativity. In another study, I explore how deliberate prioritization of goals and tasks facilitates performance in demanding environments.
Regulating and Facilitating: The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Maintaining and Using Positive Affect for Creativity
With Michael Parke and Myeong-Gu Seo
Emotional intelligence (EI) is generally seen as the way people understand their own and others’ emotions and how they interact with people using this special understanding. This study indicates that emotional intelligence can impact more than relationships, actually helping people be more creative. This phenomenon has two aspects. First, people with high levels of EI can regulate their own and others’ emotions to stay positive when the environment is challenging. This helps them maintain high energy, good concentration, and active engagement, or “positive affect,” which facilitates creativity. Second, people with high emotional intelligence can better channel positive affect to facilitate themselves and others, delivering enhanced thinking and decision making. This understanding offers managers opportunities to build creativity in the workforce by hiring people with higher EI or using training methods to enhance EI in the existing workforce.