ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Christine McKee
Christine McKee Christine McKee, a registered psychologist, is director of BE Institute, a psychology consulting and training organisation in Brisbane, Australia. She uses a combination of eastern philosophy and modern psychological techniques with her clients in the corporate, private practice, mining, government, and not-for-profit arenas. The 4-phase BE by Design process results in personal empowerment for individuals, maximising potential of leaders and their teams to achieve business excellence and conscious parenting (pre and post conception). Christine is published author of BE by Design: How I BE Is Up to Me, an empowering “owner’s manual for the brain” which will guide you to understand your most precious asset and how, through simple and practical strategies, you can be the best you can BE. Christine also writes regularly for several online journals.

Christine McKee has written 14 article(s) for us.

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Creating the Mood for a Happy and Healthy Work Environment

April 29, 2013 | Christine McKee

The mood of the people you have to work with really does influence how you feel about your job.
The mood of the people you have to work with really does influence how you feel about your job.

The mood you are in at any given moment in time will affect everything going on, in and around you. When I refer to moods, I simply mean emotional states, such as happy, motivated, curious, sad, excited, confident, or highly energised. The mood you choose to be in will influence others, so choose wisely, depending on the atmosphere you want to create to cultivate wonderful productivity, motivation and harmony.

Let’s examine two benefits to taking control of your mood: congruence and influence.

Congruence

When you know how to be in the best mood for what you want to do, you will achieve your desired outcome. You will be congruent—your thoughts, the pictures in your mind, and your mood will all be aligned, and you will be creating the energy of the environment you are in (at work, home etc.).

Here’s how easy it is to get into any mood you choose. Let’s do it together now. Consider a mood state of being 100 per cent capable—capable of being or achieving whatever you put your heart, mind, and soul into. Have you ever truly felt capable? If you are reading this thinking, “Well, not 100 per cent,” that’s okay. Ask yourself what it feels like to be really capable or exceptionally capable or highly capable.

Think of an actual time when you really felt capable. If needed, ask yourself, “Can I remember a time when I was really capable? A specific time?”

Generate a mental image of this time. Be sure you are looking through your own eyes here—experiencing everything as though it were happening right now. Get a really solid sense of what it feels like inside when you are really capable. What do you see? What sounds do you hear? What thoughts are running through your mind now as you feel really capable?

If you have been focused on what was asked of you in this short paragraph, you will undeniably feel capable! If you do not feel capable, ask yourself, “What was I focusing on instead?”

This process works for any mood you choose. Take a moment now to practice bringing your thoughts, beliefs, and moods into congruence. Repeat the above process for the following positive and healthy moods:

  • feeling really loved
  • feeling really confident

Influence

You have the ability to influence other people to go into the same mood as you, so choose your mood carefully!

Are there times where it would be useful for you and others to be in a particular mood to achieve a desired outcome? One example that immediately comes to mind is in workplace meetings. As a business consultant for the corporate, government, and mining-and-resources sectors, I frequently received feedback that a great deal of time was wasted in meetings that go nowhere.

The intended goal for the Monday-morning meeting was to have all agenda items heard and appropriate actions assigned within forty-five minutes. Potentially useful mood states for the attendees to take action and be aligned with the goal might include motivated, focused, and efficient.

Now, when people first arrive at work or to a meeting, you really have no clue what has happened to them before they arrived—rushing, traffic jam, argument with a partner, or coming back from days off. That means you may have ten people arriving at the meeting in ten different and possibly unhelpful mood states. This equates to ten opportunities to not achieve the goal of the meeting.

Therefore, because you are capable of influencing others, you need to be sure that if the other attendees’ mood states are not ideal for the purpose of the meeting, you can move them into a useful mood. You can do this in two ways:

  1. Get into the desired mood yourself, using the technique you have practiced from the earlier section. Mood states can be infectious, so if you get yourself into the mood state of, say, motivated, others are likely to follow your lead.
  2. Ask questions to focus the members on the goals of the meeting you are in. What you are actually doing here is influencing their thoughts and, as you know, thoughts determine feelings. Useful questions in this meeting example may include the following:
    • What will we all do to ensure we complete this meeting on time?
    • How can you contribute to the discussion of the agenda items today?
    • How can we make this a really successful meeting today?

The great news is, you will influence the mood of those around you based on your mood. The bad news is, you will influence the mood of those around you based on your mood. Therefore, be sure to choose your mood purposefully, always keeping the achievement of the intended goal in mind.

What are useful moods you can create to influence positive outcomes in your workplace?