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Leaders – your moods have a huge impact on your Employees & the Bottom-line

September 16, 2010

Being a leader today isn’t easy.  With greater demands and less resources, it seems that there is never enough time or energy to get everything done.   Deadlines, demands and the resulting stress make work and life a challenge.  In addition to the impact on your personal well being, your mood has a profound impact on your employees.

According to a Harvard Business Review article (Goleman, Boyatzis, McKee, 2001), a leader’s mood spreads throughout an organization “like electricity over telephone wires”.   In essence a leader’s mood is contagious spreading throughout their team and the organization quickly.  Therefore a positive upbeat leader will cultivate employees who are also similarly upbeat and overcome challenges whereas a negative one will create employees who are depressed and underachieving.  It’s not to say that a leader must be upbeat and overly cheery all the time as that is not realistic. However it does mean that leaders must understand how their moods impact their employees and make adjustments.

How can leaders monitor and adjust their moods?

One simple way is to do a mood check and ask two quick questions:

  1. What mood am I in now?
  2. Why am I in that mood?

When in a less than positive mood, often going back to the source of that mood can help put things in perspective and shift into a better mood. For example, a bad mood might have resulted from a challenging conversation with a coworker. Realizing that things will work out with the coworker or that the conversation isn’t enough to warrant a bad mood can be enough to move into a better one.

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