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Mood And Engagement Are Contagious
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Mood And Engagement Are Contagious

Apr 2 2014, 10:28pm CDT | by

I used to think that my attitude and engagement affected me, but not other people. I could come to work in a bad mood or frustrated with work and if I did not tell anybody, no one would know. In my...

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17 weeks ago

Mood And Engagement Are Contagious

Apr 2 2014, 10:28pm CDT | by

I used to think that my attitude and engagement affected me, but not other people. I could come to work in a bad mood or frustrated with work and if I did not tell anybody, no one would know. In my experience, most people suppose that employees are simply required to perform their job well and not make any big mistakes. Some might say, “It’s not my employer’s business whether I am enthused and happy or depressed and despondent, as long as I do my job.” In many ways I thought my emotions were locked up inside. However, the evidence is compelling that emotions are as contagious as a cold or the flu. They spread freely to others in an organization.

Mood is Contagious
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While it is true that job performance is important, there is a compelling body of research to show the ways a person’s mood impacts those around them. In a recent study by Fowler and Christakis, researchers looked at the impact of happiness or sadness on friends. They constructed a social network by connecting one friend to another friend and then measured the happiness or sadness of each person in the network. They found that:

  • If you have a friend that is happy, the probability that you will be happier goes up by 25%.
  • Happy friends cluster together, sad friends cluster together.

The problem with a person who lacks energy and enthusiasm is that their mood impacts others. They can bring others down or pick them up. Most people who are sick work hard not to spread their germs and infect others. But moods are even more infectious than germs.

My own experience shows this is true. A few years ago I was scheduled for a meeting with a CEO. The group I was working with came in early to plan our presentation. After we started our meeting someone came to the door and announced that our meeting with the CEO had been canceled. I asked why. The answer was, “It’s not a good day!” I said, “how do you know?”, to which he replied, “everybody knows!”

Engagement is Contagious
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Recently, I did some research where I looked at the level of engagement of leaders and compared it to the level of engagement of their direct reports. Intuitively one would assume that if my boss is unengaged it does not necessarily mean my own disengagement would follow. But it turns out that 38% of leaders in the bottom quartile for personal engagement have direct report groups who are also in the bottom quartile.

Thirty-six percent of leaders in the top quartile have direct report groups who are in the top quartile as well. It’s not a surprise that the attitude of a boss impacts my attitude in the same way I am influenced by the happiness of my friends./>/>

Leaders’ Moods and Engagement are Highly Contagious
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So let’s look at this fact from a leadership perspective. What we know about leaders is that on the whole they have far more influence on the moods of others than friends. When we looked at leaders who were uninspiring and who have Fatal Flaws, we found that employees who worked for them were only at the 9th percentile in terms of satisfaction and commitment. This basically means that they hated their jobs and were constantly frustrated at work. We also found that 51% of the people in that group were thinking of quitting.

Every Interaction Counts
Since doing this research, I have begun thinking about the fact that every interaction I have with other people can be inspiring and building, or discouraging and frustrating. We can build others up or tear them down. Many people have the impression that most of their interactions with others don’t really count, or that they are neutral. They believe there are a few times that something they say is important, and they only need to be on the top of their game for the special occasions that count. The more I look at the data and my own interactions with others, the more I am convinced that everything counts, and that neutral interactions actually negative impact results./>

Leaders need to be aware that every interaction can make a difference, every meeting can be inspiring, and every discussion can create a stronger commitment. When leaders understand this, they start to take advantage of every interaction. They look for ways to encourage, support, build and inspire. They become aware of the mood they bring to the office and the implications of being discouraged, angry or tired.  They understand they have tremendous influence with other people and that every interaction counts.

How is Your Mood Impacting Your Employees?
Do you have examples of how your mood has affected your employees? Or maybe a leader has affected your mood? Do you agree/disagree? Feel free to join the discussion on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn./>

How to Communicate Effectively at Work

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was told t ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by robbe ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri H ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selata ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

8 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

8 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datu ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

8 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of RM20 million. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

8 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Scheme 2 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway (Kid ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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