Posted on

Are Your Moods Contagious?


This week, let’s look at a question that came from a reader.

Q. Do you think that your mood affects the other staff/people around you? The reason I asked is that I find myself being overwhelmed at times with too much work and my facial expression might tell that all is not well. For some reason, the mood in the office will change and sometimes production drop.{{more}} Then there are times when the mood in the office is a very pleasant and high-spirited one, and we would work without even realizing that 4 pm is approaching. Are moods contagious?

A. Yes. Good or bad, attitudes/moods are contagious. It’s very easy to tell employees to have a positive attitude but the difficulty comes in actually maintaining this posture.

Each employee is personally responsible for the attitude they choose on a daily basis. Regardless of the personal or professional concerns, true professionalism is being able to perform effectively and not let personal feelings interrupt or sabotage work quality.

Of course, there will be times when the stress of the work is evident in body language, tone of voice and even in the actual words used. These are the indicators of the mood or attitude we have for that moment. The good news is, moods and attitudes are not permanent and can be changed when you are aware of it.

Similar to our reader, one CEO of a company would wear a distressed look on her face when things were not going well in the office and this would make the entire office uncomfortable. They called her expression “the ugly face.” The issue came up in a training session and to lighten the mood in those tense moments, the CEO asked the employees to playfully alert her whenever she was wearing “the ugly face.” This changed the mood in the office and the CEO was surprised at how frequently she looked distressed.

Here are a few tips to help obtain and maintain a positive attitude.

1. Having a positive attitude is a commitment you make to yourself every day. It’s consciously making the choice to react to daily situations in a constructive, productive manner.

2. Avoid or reduce time spent with coworkers who complain, or have a negative outlook on life personally and professionally.

3. When problems arise that may cause you to react negatively, its best to take a few minutes to regroup and think about your approach. Walk around, get a snack or step outside for some fresh air.

Attitudes do have a tremendous impact on all organizations and they are very contagious.

Minister Charles Swindoll wrote “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.

And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

Karen Hinds – President/CEO
Workplace Success Group LLC
21 West Main Street 4th fl
Waterbury, CT 06702
Phone: 203-757-4103
A CT Winner of the Make Mine a Million Dollar Business award!