Calvinist upbringing and emotional cues at work

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Joined: 10 May 2005
Age: 36
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02 Feb 2017, 12:51 am

I stumbled across an interesting passage from a book on cultural differences, that looks at the attitudes toward work relationships by Americans raised in a Calvinist-based upbringing (including Methodist and Presbyterian traditions) and compares them against those Americans who were not. Basically, Calvinist-raised Americans are not attentive to emotional cues while at work and de-emphasize the role of interpersonal relations at work; they believe conflicts should be set aside to enable doing work. They see work as a moral calling by God that they must direct all their attention to in work contexts, and see focusing on relationships and emotions as slacking off, basically, and slacking off as sinful.

Other Americans, however, have different views, and focus a lot on reading emotional cues and establishing close interpersonal relationships with their co-workers; and if they are not getting good rapport with their coworkers or bosses, their work performance will suffer.

This creates a dynamic where the way Calvinist-raised Americans handle interpersonal issues at work actually is detrimental to the performance of their non-Calvinist-raised co-workers. If non-Calvinist-raised employees are having a hard time at work because they don't think they're getting along with their co-workers, Calvinist-raised employees will fault them for being too focused on emotions and relationships and not enough on work (and perhaps as being "drama queens").

Calvinist-raised Americans are also less responsive to the Cultural Assimilator approach to teaching how the workplaces in other countries are socially and culturally, but are responsive to Calvinist-based methods of teaching (where I presume the social skills for the foreign workplace are taught as an essential part of the job, that would be sinful to ignore).

Here's the book on Google Books: ... st&f=false

"You have a responsibility to consider all sides of a problem and a responsibility to make a judgment and a responsibility to care for all involved." --Ian Danskin


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Joined: 4 Feb 2014
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02 Feb 2017, 10:11 am

I would tend to agree with Calvinists/Presbyterians tend to be more stoic and less emotive than those of, say, the Baptist/Pentecostal tradition.

This could lead to dissonance in personal relationships, and working relationships, unless they are specifically addressed.

I would say this is especially true in the respective sects' attitude towards the loss of loved ones.