May 03, 2023

2:00 p.m. ET

This event is for invited researchers only.

Scholar presenter:

Christina Bradley, University of Michigan

Seed generators:

Hilary Anger Elfenbein, Washington University in St. Louis

Michael Parke, University of Pennsylvania


How, When, and Why Responding to the Emotions of Others Impacts Work Outcomes: Theory, Findings, and Future Directions

Talk description:

When an employee expresses an emotion at work, their colleagues face the difficult task of understanding whether or how to respond to the expressed emotion in a way that is helpful for the individuals, relationships, and teams involved, as well as the work being done. For example, they may choose to reassure their colleague, validate their colleague’s emotions, distract their colleague from what they are feeling, or ignore their emotions all together. In today’s presentation, I will first present an integrative review that explores how, when, and why responses to the emotions of others impact outcomes at work. I will then present ongoing empirical work on one understudied yet powerful emotion-response strategy, emotional acknowledgment, which involves the verbal recognition of the emotions of another. In this work, I explore when and why emotional acknowledgment may benefit individuals, relationships, and teams in addition to when and why this emotion-response strategy may backfire.

Research is the heart of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS), and we want to make sure that we support each other in developing high quality research. To that end, we created the Adderley Positive Research Incubator for sharing and encouraging POS-related research ideas that are at various stages of development.

Learn more about the Adderley Positive Research Incubators here and direct questions about individual sessions to