Great leaders know how to create impact and influence among their teams. Their moods cultivate a workplace environment that promotes engagement and the open exchange of ideas.
Our executive coaches emphasize the importance of managing your mood states at work, particularly when you are in a leadership position.
The Negative Spiral
A leader’s volatile or negative mood state can wreak havoc on a team in many ways. And it can happen quickly.
If your team members don’t know what to expect from you — from day to day, or minute to minute — it can create a lack of safety. As a result, an underlying tension can permeate the work environment. People are afraid to speak up, fearing adverse repercussions.
It can also stifle creativity and innovation, causing the team to fall short of its potential.
Why Your Team Benefits When You Manage Your Moods
On the flip side, your team reaps many rewards when you keep your moods under control.
For starters, moods are infectious. Research supports the contagion effect of leaders; a leader’s good mood has a positive impact on the mood of individual team members, the collective “affective tone” of the group and on coordination within the group.
In addition, positive moods encourage openness, curiosity and creativity, paving the way to innovation.
In meetings, team members are more likely to contribute ideas when they hear you say “Let’s explore option xyz,” or “Who else has thoughts on abc?” than they would be if you were to approach a topic with a rigid or negative tone.
Executive Coaching Strategies to Manage Your Mood
While the barometric pressure and the stock market are matters beyond your control, you have the ability to govern your mood states. By implementing the following strategies, you can learn to manage your moods with greater finesse.
- Create an intention — Ask yourself, “What mood state do I commit to remain in regardless of how other people act or situations unfold?” Perhaps you’ll choose one of these: curious, calm, energetic, content, hopeful, excited or grateful. Let it remain in the background, setting the tone for the day, meeting or a specific event.
- Develop awareness — The first step in controlling your mood states is becoming more aware of them — and their shifts. Do you see patterns? Are there common triggers that elicit certain emotions? The more in tune you are with your moods, the easier it will be for you to hold on to the emotional reins.
- Evaluate — At specific intervals, or at the end of a specific event (e.g., an important meeting), assess your mood state. As we remind our executive coaching clients: “That which you can measure, you can impact and change.”
One of the greatest things about emotional intelligence is that it can be developed. But, like mastering any new skill or process, learning to manage your moods takes time and dedicated practice.
What strategies have you found to be effective in managing your mood states?