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Employee Wellbeing

The Inspiration Behind Wendy Rhoades of “Billions” Talks Positive Management

Photo: Courtesy of Cyndi Shattuck Photography

Denise Shull, author and decision coach, discusses the psychological effects of incorporating emotion into effective business management.

How can employers more effectively incorporate emotion into management styles?

First, stop being afraid of so-called negative feelings. Psychological research consistently reveals that feelings and emotions underlie all perception, judgment and decision-making — whether we know it or not. Resolving to accept, understand and leverage all of the emotions involved in creating success offers a truly transformative opportunity. Ironically, the emotions with the most angst offer the biggest opportunities.

From a psychological perspective, what keeps employees engaged at work and how can managers leverage employee engagement for positive reinforcement?
Trust consistently shows up as the pivotal feeling related to engagement. What creates trust? In a word, integrity. Managers can motivate their teams with honesty and reliability — both of which can be fostered through the skills associated with unpacking the employees’ fears and frustrations. Once you have trust, providing appreciation and opportunities for growth are key to inducing dedication to achievement

What qualities of the character Wendy Rhoades are you excited to see being showcased in “Billions?”

exciting to see the way she has earned exceptional amounts of trust, as well as her deft way of dealing with the demons lurking in Axe’s subconscious. Think back to the “Magical Thinking” episode of season one. Wendy spent the evening talking to Axe and leading him to see that his guilt over Donnie drove him to make ill-advised decisions that lost the firm oodles of money. That’s the kind of work I love seeing her do.

How can employers use positive emotional management to increase/grow their business?

Create desire — desire to achieve and desire to prevail over the competition. Motivation is desire. Feeling valued and trusted causes employees to want to fight for their leader who respects them. Simply listening well and truly considering concerns creates the desire that transforms into exceptional effort. Borrow from sports — help your team want to win for the coach.  

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