We've all been there. You've put your heart and soul into a major project at work, only for your boss to swoop in at the last second and change absolutely everything. Or worse — they take credit for the whole thing.
Well, it turns out that acting on that anger can be good for office morale. As long as you do it to a doll.
So we've already told you how venting isn't necessarily the best thing for your emotional health. But according to a new studyit could be good for the entire office if employees are given an outlet for expressing their frustration with those in management and leadership.
To see if a little harmless retaliation could reduce the sting of perceived injustice, study co-author Lindie H. Liang recruited about professionals and business-school students to Boss poke his employee stabbing their anger away. In one experiment, the volunteers were asked to remember an incident from their past where a supervisor had treated them rudely, unjustly, or simply ignored their accomplishments.
Then the researchers showed them a virtual voodoo doll. One group was asked to label the doll with their boss's initials, then torment their tiny stuffed superior with virtual pins, pliers, and even open flames. The other group was asked to label the doll as "Nobody" and simply trace the doll's outline.
Later, the researchers asked both groups to rate how much they agreed with statements about their incident with a supervisor, such as "My supervisor ridicules me" or "My supervisor tells me my thoughts or feelings are stupid.
Maybe the problem with venting is that it doesn't go far enough? So let's say that you're an employer and you want to improve office morale.
Does that mean that you've got to swallow your pride and nail up a doll of yourself in the break room? Liang told the Telegraph.
But the important thing, morale-wise, is that if the boss can get over him or herself, the employees can too. A grudge-free workplace is a happy workplace, after all.
But word to the wise — if you're not the boss, maybe you should keep your voodoo doll to yourself. Get stories like this one in your inbox or your headphones: There's a lot more to building a better workplace than making sure employees have an inanimate object to take their frustrations out on.
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