Interpersonal emotion regulation (IER) refers to the actions of influencing other people s feelings. We apply this construct to the context of leadership to determine whether leader IER may explain followers performance. Drawing on emotions-as-social-information theory, we argue that leader strategies to improve or worsen followers feelings would be related to followers affect and thereby to their performance. We tested these proposals using a multisource field study involving 31 leaders and 157 followers. Results from multilevel modeling supported a mediation model in which leaders attempts to improve their followers feelings enhance followers task performance via the followers experience of positive affect. In contrast, leaders use of affect-worsening actions was associated with the experience of followers negative affect, but not related to task performance. These findings contribute by expanding knowledge on the affective underpinnings of the leader follower relationship and informing the development of leadership interventions aimed to foster employee performance.
- interpersonal emotion regulation
- task performance