Faking your emotions at work

Discussion Guide

1. What are the emotional norms of your workplace? What emotions are people expected to display and suppress?

2. What are your favorite deep acting strategies? When you want to feel the emotions you need to display, how do you get yourself into that zone?

3. Are there times when you think surface acting is effective and appropriate—when it makes sense to fake emotions?

4. What scripts are part of your work, either formally or informally? Which scripts are empowering and which ones are coercive?

5. What would it take to give people more freedom of emotional expression?

6. How do you overcome the tradeoff between giving customers a consistent experience and allowing employees to customize their interactions?

7. What does it take to create a culture where you put employees first?

8. How can you “care for the caregivers” to make sure that people who do intensive emotional work don’t get burned out?

9. What are the extreme steps that you’ve seen people take to understand their customers better?

10. In many jobs, people don’t have the chance to see the impact of their work on customers. How can you help connect those dots in your team?