Every business wants workers who passionately love their work. And for good reason: workers who are inspired are more productive, and passion can provide the energy necessary to fuel engagement, amidst obstacles and setbacks. But while passion seems clearly desirable, recent psychological research suggests that not all forms are adaptive. In fact, some forms can be downright detrimental.
According to Robert J. Vallerand’s Dualistic Model of Passion, passion has two main flavors: harmonious and obsessive. Those with harmonious passion engage in their work because it brings them intrinsic joy. They have a sense of control of their work, and their work is in harmony with their other activities in life. At the same time, they know when to disengage, and are better at turning off the work switch when they wish to enjoy other activities or when further engagement becomes too risky. As a result, their work doesn’t conflict with the other areas of their lives. When they are at the opera, for instance, or spending time with their children, they aren’t constantly thinking of work, and they don’t report feeling guilty that they aren’t working. Questionnaire items measuring harmonious passion include: “This activity reflects the qualities I like about myself”, “This activity is in harmony with the other activities in my life,” and “For me it is a passion that I still manage to control.”
Read the full article here! (via Scott Barry Kaufman writing for the Harvard Business Review)