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Capability: Part 8 – Affect


  • Pessimistic

  • Optimistic

  • Neutral

  • Apathetic


1 obsolete : feeling, affection

2 :  the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion considered apart from bodily changes; also :  a set of observable manifestations of a subjectively experienced emotion

In recent history, much more importance has begun to emerge surrounding AFFECT, or sentiment.


Maybe a “cut to the chase” idea is not what you were expecting?

And that’s the power and subtlety of subjective affect.

In VUCA conditions, absent of easily achievable facts and a distancing from truth through accelerating complexity, AFFECT may become increasingly important for postmodern leaders.

Think about this…

Trust in a highly ambiguous environment is probably all most of us have going, and where does that trust come from, or how is trust inspired?


Most of what I have seen in leader development the past two decades is in some way related to the AFFECT that remarkable leaders have on the people around them. There isn’t a book written today that doesn’t reference the “emotional components” of leadership, and most books are now embracing “social intelligence” as a means by which leaders are judged.

Simply, it’s about the “feeling” that leaders inspire–positive or negative, neutral or apathy that are keys to providing conditions that help people have lives.

Measuring AFFECT

Panas-X : The expanded version of PANAS is called PANAS-X and includes 60 items. This questionnaire not only measures the two original higher order scales (PA – Positive Affect and NA – Negative Affect), but also 11 specific affects: Fear, Sadness, Guilt, Hostility, Shyness, Fatigue, Surprise, Joviality, Self-Assurance, Attentiveness, and Serenity.  The internal consistency reliabilities for the two higher order scales is above 0.83, however the internal reliability of specific affects is lower: Fear – median a = .87, Sadness – median a = .87, Guilt – median a = .88, Hostility – median a = .85, Shyness – median a = .83 Fatigue -median a = .88, Self-Assurance – median a = .83.

Taking the PANAS-X Online: [Register to get password] – https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/questionnaires/panas-questionnaire

Here is the takeaway as a leader developer:

If whatever you do creates the wrong AFFECT, you row against the flow.

Knowing, managing, designing and scaffolding AFFECT is key for postmodern leadership.

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    Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

    Mike R. Jay
    Leadership University

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