It's Always Personal

Emotion in the New Workplace

This will be one of the most fascinating and useful books you’ll ever read. In this groundbreaking study, Anne Kreamer looks at emotion in the workplace through first-hand experiences, scientific research, and empirical data. What’s the role of anger, fear, empathy, anxiety, and tears? This book explains them in ways that will make you a better worker, boss, and human being.
— Walter Isaacson, Author of 'Steve Jobs'

When was the last time you cried at work? Or didn’t know how to respond when one of your colleagues broke down? Did someone at work blow up at you – or did you yell at a co-worker? Do you wish people where you work laughed on the job more — or less? Or didn’t exasperate you constantly? Or showed a little tact and sensitivity? Or didn’t go to such ridiculous lengths to avoid telling it like it is?

Guess what? You are not alone. Over the past two years I roamed the country talking to dozens of scientists and other experts and more than 200 ordinary Americans about their feelings – their positive emotions, their negative emotions, their crazy emotions — on the job. I made a lot of discoveries – such as the fact that a lot more men cry on the job than you’d think, saleswomen make more money during the ovulation phase of their cycles, and the cultivation of positive emotions isn’t some Pollyanna myth but a scientifically proven tool to better health and problem solving. Indeed, the more of your authentic emotional self you bring to work happier and more effective you will be.

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Workplace Emotion Evaluation Profile ©

The Weep Profile was derived from an exclusive national survey of 818 women and 421 men, working Americans from all over the country, that Anne fielded in 2009 with J. Walter Thompson as research for my book It’s Always Personal. Based on an analysis of our survey responses we created four basic work-personality types. Taking this mini-survey will reveal your characteristic emotional response to typical workplace situations.*

It’s important to note that that each group includes successful people, no one category is disproportionately male or female, income levels are similar among the groups and being a member of one category or another is not necessarily predictive of occupational success or happiness. In the real world there is flux, and real people are individuals, with complicated personalities and work situations. Your results, however, can help you discover what kinds of circumstances or people most challenge you, and then, with the suggestions outlined in the book, develop skills for dealing with those kinds of people and situations. It might also be worthwhile to ask trusted colleagues to take the survey to discover if your self-perceptions conform with their experience of your workplace behavior.

* Download the full survey The Emotions in the Workplace Segmentation Survey as a PDF.
© J. Walter Thompson

Harvard Business Review video on best practices for handling emotions at the office.