Want to offend your boss? You may just get away with it!
A new study shows a boss can shake off minor rejections from people while being emotionally strong. After the rejection, they are still able to initiate a social bonding with the individuals who rejected them, according to a press release by EurekAlert on Jan. 18:
"Powerful people appear to be better at dealing with the slings and arrows of social life, they're more buffered from the negative feelings that rejection typically elicits," said Maya Kuehn, a doctoral student in psychology at UC Berkeley and lead author of the study. She will present her findings this Friday, Jan. 18, at the annual conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in New Orleans.
Whether at home or in the workplace, individuals in authoritative positions (usually supervisory/managerial positions) may be quicker to dismiss a rejection from others that are in positions under them. The ability to do this suggests an emotionally strong person (individuals with 'thick-skin'). Plus, they may still seek out the social bonding opportunities after the rejection.
In another study released a day previous to this one (Jan. 17), research linked a boss' power over the employees influenced harsher penalties for insignificant infractions of their employees, or punishing the employee too much for a small wrong-doing.
So having power made the bosses 'feel' they were justified in giving a stronger punishment for a minor incident.
... found that providing a sense of power to someone instills a black-and-white sense of right and wrong (especially wrong). Once armed with this moral clarity, powerful people then perceive wrongdoing with much less ambiguity than people lacking this power, and punish apparent wrong-doers with more severity than people without power would. EurekAlert
Given the back-to-back research, you may be able to get away with offending your boss. Albeit if you go over the line, you're punishment might be exaggerated.
The latest research results appear in a forthcoming issue of the Academy of Management Journal.
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