How to Change Your Mood and Improve Performance
By Scot Hill
Vice President, Commercial Operations
In today’s business world, we’re told that in order to succeed, we must first appreciate and understand others. Knowing how a colleague might approach an issue helps you to work better together. While that’s an important aspect of successful relationship building, evaluating oneself is equally important.
Certain events, anxiety, and daily frustrations influence how you interact with people, and can change the effectiveness of your decision-making and influence your body language. In response, a customer or coworker might form a negative impression. In this increasingly digital world, you may only have so many face-to-face opportunities to build sincere relationships with your colleagues.
You can’t always control circumstances, but you can control how you react to them. Figuring out how to manage your own mood amid frustrating situations will help you produce better outcomes, even on your worst day.
Before walking into a stressful meeting, I go through a mental checklist about how I’m feeling. Am I uptight? Too loose? Too confident? Am I upset because of a previous meeting? Depending on the answer, I can figure out the best way to change my mood.
If it’s something I can talk myself through, I try to take a moment and meditate, even if it’s for just 10 seconds before I walk into the meeting. Or I try to take a few deep breaths to help me calm myself and refocus.
If I have a few minutes, I’ll sometimes put in my ear buds and listen to a song that will put me in the right frame of mind, or I’ll walk up and down the stairs a couple of times to snap myself out of the bad mood. Find what works for you.
Checks and Balances
Family and friends may not realize when you’re dealing with an issue at work, so it’s helpful to have colleagues who will provide honest feedback. Although we are usually aware of our own moods and behaviors, we sometimes need someone else to bring issues to our attention and serve as a checkpoint.
When you can’t immediately ask someone for advice, use the reactions of others to gauge your effectiveness. If you aren’t getting the responses that you expect, it may be an unconscious message that you are sending. Examine your feelings and behaviors, and then correct and refocus.
For those of you who are managers, make sure that negative moods don’t impact your team or their performance. Create an environment where people can feel comfortable being themselves and demonstrating their strengths. Recognizing your team for successes and wins in front of others can go a long way in fostering a positive workplace.
Maintain Your Perspective
Overall, it’s helpful to keep everything in perspective. When you are stressed, take a few moments to re-focus on the task at hand. It may help to think about your family, friends, and other life priorities.
When you better understand yourself and your own reactions to stressful situations, you can adapt your behavior to achieve better outcomes and become more successful at work and in life.