The ability to inspire positive feelings in others is a key leadership quality. The ability to cultivate our own positive feelings is equally important for our own health and well-being. When we feel good, we perform better, are more creative and more productive. Good feelings are like lubrication to the brain—mental efficiency goes up, memory is sharpened, we can understand directions and make better decisions.
This is not a new revelation. More than a decade ago, a study of 62 CEOs and their top management teams assessed how upbeat they were—how enthusiastic, energetic and determined they were. They were asked how much conflict and tumult the top team experienced in the form of personality clashes, anger and friction in meetings and emotional conflicts (in contrast to disagreements about ideas). The study found that the more positive the overall moods of people in the top management team, the more cooperatively they worked together—and the better the company’s business results. The longer a company was run by a management team that did not get along, the poorer that company’s market returns.
Balancing Feeling Good with Results
The challenge for leaders is obtaining a balance between workers feeling good, having satisfying relationships, and keeping their focus on performance goals. The ability of a leader to foster group enthusiasm can determine its success. Conversely, emotional conflicts in a group take time, attention and energy away from shared tasks and performance suffers.
No new revelation here either. However, we now have access to an effective tool to get the balance closer to "just right". We can now utilize executive coaching to help a leader communicate feelings that are realistic and authentic, maintain positive emotions in the face of stressful challenges, and inspire energy and enthusiasm. Practising an attitude of realistic optimism can help a leader increase the ability to experience and sustain positive emotions.
Common wisdom would predict that employees who feel good will likely make more efforts to please customers, collaborate with co-workers, and make better decisions. Thus, increased revenues, customer retention, increased job satisfaction, and high-performing talent retention. Since emotions are contagious, then all leaders, whether CEO, manager or head of a team, have a greater responsibility for creating and sustaining moods of employees. Leaders can, by managing their own moods, drive service climate and influence employees to go the extra mile to satisfy customers.
What's your experience with cultivating a positive mood within the workplace?
We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. We are interested in starting a conversation about the value we can bring to your organization. We help leaders to be effective by recognizing and utilizing their competencies while adapting their behaviour in situations that require a different approach. Our clients become aware of their particular way-of-leading by participating in various assessments: Emotional Intelligence, Emergenetics, and the Emerson Suite 3D Personal Profile for leadership and management effectiveness.