Quick check: What would you say is your overall mood at work? How is that impacting your results and your leadership? And how about those you lead? Would they say the same about you?
The mood of a leader is a pervasive influence in an organization — for better or for worse. Too often the impact of mood is overlooked, avoided or ignored by leaders themselves as they are swallowed up by the ever-increasing demands of today’s organizational environment. But let’s face it, we’re all emotional beings. And even though we don’t want to admit it, we bring our emotions into the workplace, impacting the effectiveness of our leadership and the quality of our results.
Regardless of where we are — at home or on the job — our emotions and moods color the way we observe and engage with the world. And they predispose us to behave in certain ways. Our emotions are often in response or reaction to a specific event, situation or interaction. They are changeable and usually last for just a short period of time, about an hour or less. But moods run deeper than emotion.
We are never free from moods — we are always in a mood. Moods are emotional states that persist, that “take up residence” deep within our way of being and impact our thoughts, communications, and physiology. And even though they are pervasive, moods are often difficult to detect because they are in the background of our awareness. In fact, they can be so subtle that we can find ourselves in midst of a mood without really knowing how or why we got there.
Shifting Your Mood to Improve Leadership Results
Mood is a given for us as human beings and leaders. And our moods are infectious. They drift and grow, impacting those around us — positively or negatively depending on the mood. According to Alan Seiler, author of Coaching to the Human Soul, as human beings we all have several basic moods. These moods are paired and define the contrasting ways we assess and engage with the facts, possibilities and uncertainties of our lives. Here are a few examples:
- Facts: Resentment vs. Acceptance
- Possibility: Resignation vs. Optimism
- Uncertainty: Anxiety vs. Curiosity
As you can imagine from this short list our moods can determine how we perceive and take action on the circumstances of our lives — either positively or negatively impacting our relationships and results. For example, how would the mood of resignation in the midst of challenge influence an organization in contrast to a mood of optimism? So the question isn’t “Are my moods impacting my effectiveness as a leader?” The real question is “How can I shift a negative mood in a way that makes a positive impact on my leadership and my results?”
But it’s not always easy to shift out of a negative mood. The most effective way to do so is through the adoption of a counter mood that is more in alignment with who we want to become and what we want to create. The steps to shifting a negative mood include the:
- Acknowledgement of your current mood and the willingness to accept responsibility for shifting it.
- Deep commitment to think and respond differently to our circumstances. Being ready to let go of the beliefs, language and behaviors that hold you back from making the positive changes you desire.
- Practice of new ways of thinking, talking, and responding that are in support of the counter mood you want to develop.
- Compassion and support as you integrate the new language, postures and behaviors and develop a new way of being.
EXERCISE: Here are a few questions that will help you begin to shift your mood to be more in alignment with the leader you want to become:
- What predominant moods do you live in at your work? Write down the words that best describe the moods in this area of your life.
- Are these the moods you want to live in at work? What moods would you prefer to live in at work?
- What shifts in your thinking and communicating will support you in living more in the moods you desire?
- What changes are you willing to make in order to live from a more helpful mood?
- How will you support yourself throughout this process?
Join us for The Language of Leadership training and coaching program and learn how to shift your negative moods to improve your leadership results. As an attendee of this powerful, six-month program, you’ll receive an individualized coaching program that will identify outcomes, exercises and practices that will help you develop the capacities and competence to live into the new way of being you desire.
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