07As you've read in last week's article from Violeta "The elephant in the room", there is one very important part of manager's daily responsibilities that is missing from our job description. Chances are – nobody has mentioned that to you and the person that has interviewed you as well as your boss have no idea that there is something missing.
I'm talking about the ability to control your mood.
We are social creatures and it is very easy for us to determine the emotional state of others when we see them. Emotions are contagious and the more we feel someone close to us or the more we trust and respect that person it's easier for their mood to get transferred to us. Imagine your child or mother, or your spouse in a bad mood...Their face, posture, the words they say and how they say them... I bet that even this mental image has affected your current emotional state. Now imagine them happy, laughing or coming around the corner, energetic, with a smile on their face, eager to tell you something funny.
And now – try to look at yourself from the perspective of your co-workers. What mood do you bring to the office?
Your emotional state as a Leader has a huge effect on everyone on your team. It creates a big part of the work atmosphere and the environment of your colleagues. It often makes all the difference. Results can be quite dramatic – from excellent to totally disastrous. Your mood as a Leader has a tremendous effect on results, productivity, motivation, engagement and everything else that will help you achieve your business objectives and goals. And you do want to be successful in what you do, right?
One can argue that we're all human and there is no way we can radiate good vibes 24x7 and that is very true. However here is what Goleman has to say about that:
"Good moods galvanize good performance, but it doesn't make sense for a leader to be as chipper as a blue jay at dawn if sales are tanking or the business is going under. The most effective executives display moods and behaviors that match the situation at hand, with a healthy dose of optimism mixed in. They respect how other people are feeling – even if it is glum or defeated – but they also model what it looks like to move forward with hope and humor." The operative threesome here is "optimism", "hope" and "humor". As someone once put it, leaders are dealers in hope.
Here are some thoughts on how to be better at using your mood - as an effective Leadership tool:
  1. The people around you are like a mirror. They will reflect whatever you put in front of them. So even if the day is not the brightest for you, invest in a smile, in a friendly greeting or even in a joke and that will come back to you to feed your good emotions with a power multiplied by the number of the people you have interacted with.
  2. Start being mindful what you radiate – look in the "mirror" and make the necessary adjustments according to the situation.
  3. Never-ever take out your negative emotions on others that have not caused them. Forget about the mood swings as well. This makes you as unpredictable as a "monkey with a grenade". Your team will be anxious to approach you and share good, bad news or problems with you. And you DO want to know about those, don't you?
  4. Establish a morning routine – ensure that when you enter the office you have your game face on. A smile, energetic posture and pace. Greet everyone you pass by, wish them a great day. Sooner than later you will start noticing that this routine changes your mood as well. Same as with salesmen that are taught to adopt a "posture of success" prior to a meeting – the physical affects the mental.
  5. Try to joke about the obstacles in front of you and your team. If we're laughing at them, they must not be and look so "scary" anymore.
  6. Avoid looking worried or under stress (remember your game face). The effect that this has is similar to when a child falls on the playground. The first reaction is to look at the parent. If the parent looks scared, then the child assumes that something serious has happened and starts to cry. Same is with your team when they look at you. This is how they determine the gravity of the situation.
So in conclusion remember that your mood regulates the intensity of your team and the results they produce. As Bruna Martinuzzi says in her book "The Leader as a Mensch: Become the Kind of Person Others Want to Follow": A leader's upbeat mood metaphorically oxygenates the blood of followers – it's a transfusion into the corporate arteries. It may be one of the most potent contributions you can make as a leader.
Best regards,

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