Dont Ignore The Importance of State and Mood in Business

Do you think you are emotionally intelligent enough to be trusted with your mood state within a performance role?

I am suggesting that the cost in either lost business or poor performance through state or “mood” ignorance in our business is far too high for us to ignore – let me explain;

A person (for example) a recruitment consultant can get up and go to work in a state of mind that has been affected by a number of variables* the recruiter will then go to their desk taking that “state” with them which in turn affects how they view the day ahead and the tasks that they must complete, not including the effect that they have on others. Typically this means a poor “state” of mind will result in tasks being overlooked as not important enough or approaching sales calls without the necessary enthusiasm for inspiring prospective customers to make profitable decisions in their employers favour – or even affecting (negatively) other peoples performance.

If we were to carry out a survey to measure state without any influence from ourselves we would then have to carry out another survey to evaluate how they “feel” about the day ahead, tasks, their relationships with others including their line manager – experience alone would suggest that the results would be different to those staff who were given an early morning wake up call – either carrot or stick to ensure their “heads” were in the right place. Thankfully the research to support the above has been done by an American Psychologist Kurt Kraiger – this is a brief overview of the great work that he carried out.

The study investigated the influence of temporary affective states on perceptions of task characteristics and task satisfaction. Affective states, or moods, were defined as emotion-like states which lack an obvious referent and tend not to disrupt ongoing activity. Subjects evaluated teaching assistant candidates under two levels of task design (enriched vs unenriched). Half the subjects were placed in a positive mood state by showing them a brief funny videotape. The other subjects received no mood induction and were treated as controls. Dependent variables were ratings of task characteristics and task satisfaction. Consistent with previous research, a strong main effect for task design was found on both task characteristics and satisfaction. More central to this investigation, affective states also had a significant effect on task characteristics and satisfaction.

Implications of these results for interpretation and use of the job characteristics model are vital considerations or organisations that wish to maximise the effectiveness of staff performance in my view and something that every manager/leader or individual whose performance matters should ensure actions are carried out to achieve a positive state.

In short; if performance matters – state is a vital ingredient in raising how staff “see” and therefore address the tasks at hand, the “feeling” element of a job can be addressed by considering emotional intelligence during the recruitment, induction and ongoing support strategies of a business and further increasing the probability of higher performance by introducing “state” inducing initiatives through training, coaching, mentoring, fun, management, competitive, leadership initiatives.

If you look at yourself and your performance, your “mood” state management, you may find that it is too important for you to ignore the advantages in eternal stimuli, the benefits of a coach, good manager, leader and peer group – ignoring the findings and suggestions above often result in missed performance opportunities. The costs of rolling out state enhancing, positive mental attitude initiatives are often easily recovered, not always immediately as it takes a period of time for new patterns and behaviours to really kick in – but a high skilled, high willed winning team mentality has a higher probability of success against competitors than those who are not.

  • Poor or disrupted sleep
  • Health / injury matters
  • Work related stress
  • Financial concerns
  • Other..

Management and Leadership Task

What could you do to ensure the “state” of mind of your staff is ready to accept the day ahead in a way that is conducive for your business?

* Mood/state affecting variables

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