How does this translate at work? Your mood impacts your performance. A multitude of research studies have been done on the impact of attitude and emotion in the workplace. Nancy P. Rothbard published a paper, Waking Up on the Right Side of the Bed: The Influence of Mood on Work Attitudes and Performance. In her research she examines the impact of positive and negative moods that employees had at the beginning of their workday. As you can imagine there is a direct correlation between a positive mood and work performance. People do better when they feel better. In addition her research revealed that the mood that you have at the beginning of the day sets the tone for the rest of the day.
No one is neutral in a business. Either people are contributing toward progress or they are retarding progress. Think of someone who brings a sense of urgency with an attitude of support contrasted with someone who brings a sense of urgency with a sense of anger or threat. Who do you want to work for? Who do you want to be? If you are a boss, manager, leader it will behoove you to Check Your Attitude at the Door before you walk into work.
Your emotions are contagious. We catch them from each other especially in a confined environment such as work. Since our relationships are predetermined by the organizational structure we “have to” work with each and are exposed to each other’s emotions. Rank, title and position have multiplier effects on how contagious ones emotions can be. Our bosses and leaders exert a magnified impact because of their position.
Emotional Contagion is a term that was brought to light in research done by Elaine Hatfield, Richard L. Rapson, and Yen-Chi L. Le in a paper, Emotional Contagion and Empathy. Their research discussed the notion of “primitive emotional contagion” as one of the primary ways that humans understand, interact and share feelings with each other. Humans have an automatic mechanism for mimicking each other on a variety of levels such as body postures, gestures and facial expressions. When humans have similar posture, gestures and facial expressions there will be a greater likelihood that their internal experience of feelings and emotions will converge or correspond. When someone walks into the office our systems automatically sense and respond unconsciously to what we see and hear.