The stories we tell: Why cognitive distortions matter for leaders

By Katya Fernandez, Marian Ruderman
Center for Creative Leadership

Cathleen Clerkin


In this paper, we share the results of an empirical study examining how leaders’ thoughts relate to their emotional processes, as well as how leaders’ thoughts and emotion regulation strategies relate to their leadership experience. In particular, we explore the frequency and potential impact of common faulty thought patterns called cognitive distortions and emotion-focused self-influence techniques called emotion regulation strategies. More specifically, it examines the effectiveness of three different emotion regulation strategies (cognitive reappraisal, cognitive defusion, and expressive suppression) in helping leaders manage the impact of their cognitive distortions on their work experiences.


Fernandez, K., Clerkin, C. & Ruderman, M. (2021). The stories we tell: Why cognitive distortions matter for leaders. Center for Creative Leadership.

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