The Hidden Cost of Being Neutral at Work

New research suggests employees who must appear dispassionate at work may have less energy to devote to work tasks and may receive less than positive appraisals from others.

“Our study shows that emotion suppression takes a toll on people,” said Dr. Daniel Beal, assistant professor of psychology at Rice University and co-author of the study.

“It takes energy to suppress emotions, so it’s not surprising that workers who must remain neutral are often more rundown or show greater levels of burnout. The more energy you spend controlling your emotions, the less energy you have to devote to the task at hand.”

The research also found that customers who interacted with a neutrally expressive employee were in less-positive moods and, in turn, gave lower ratings of service quality and held less-positive attitudes toward that employee’s organization.

Are You Trying to Be Neutral?

What’s the culture like in your organization and what is your role in influencing it in a positive or negative direction.  Sometimes employees want to stand outside of the fray, not getting involved. Their attitude is that they are neutral—neither acting in a positive or negative manner. But what type of signal does “being neutral” really send to fellow employees? 

This research shows that being neutral is actually perceived as being negative. Take a more proactive approach to influencing the culture in your organization. Every person who joins a company, department, or team changes the personality mix. Don’t buy into the myth of neutral. Instead, actively promote a positive mood! 

To read the entire article, Neutral Disposition at Work May Take Toll, check it out here at PsychCentral.

2 thoughts on “The Hidden Cost of Being Neutral at Work

  1. Pingback: Being Neutral at Work?? « Become A Leader

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