Is your glass half full? Is it half empty? Might it be time to fill your glass?
I was going to blog about this for the week and had some thoughts planned in advance. During my week at Wharton last week, I got some in-depth knowledge into Emotional Contagion – which reinforces the beliefs and conversation I wanted to share.
Don’t you find it interesting that when you interact with certain people they approach life with the “glass is half empty” mindset? Critical about everything in a negative way? No solution to whatever the challenge is before them? We try and avoid these people and if we are on a team project with them – well, it can be disheartening. These types of colleagues, friends, leaders can literally suck the joy out of the room and drag down a project or initiative.
I have always been a glass is half full type of person and when I have moments of my glass is half empty, I immediately jump to a solution space. My energy shifts to the solution and I become positive, engaged and full of possibility. When I talk to teams and people about leadership, I always talk about putting on our game faces – suit up for the game! Our teams deserve this from us and frankly, who wants to follow a leader who is always critical, in a bad mood, frustrated, and on the verge of throwing in the towel?
We all have those moments in our lives when our glass is depleted – half full: we have a fight with our partner, forgot to fill the car with gas, spill coffee on our work shirt, hit every red light when we are already late for work, the project we are working on lost 30% of its funding but still needs to get done on time and with high quality……and all of that happens on one morning. Yes – our glass is half full, if not empty.
If you are expecting an answer on how to best fill your glass – I am sorry but I don’t have the market on that solution set. I believe that the solutions are as different as we are as people. Music works for me, some quotes of inspiration, and I think my general viewpoint of life’s challenges – “Okay, how do I turn this around.” I also know that as a leader – people watch EVERYTHING that you do and will create their own stories around your actions and behaviors.
Then, this week I learned about Emotional contagion which is the phenomenon of having one person’s emotions and related behaviors directly trigger similar emotions and behaviors in other people.
We learned (and truly we all already know this) that emotions, both positive and negative, actually spread among employees like viruses. Ever wonder why you’re happier around happy people and annoyed around annoyed people? The concept of emotional contagion influences employees’ moods and significantly influences business decisions as well…..and no one typically knows that is happening (sometimes until it is too late).
A couple of examples to consider:
• Walk into many Registry of Motor Vehicle locations and you can feel the impact of the prevailing mood instantly — dreariness, irritability, and listlessness.
• Walk into almost any Apple store and you’ll experience the opposite — a sense of aliveness and excitement that raises your energy (and makes you want to buy something).
Thinking about our actions is critical to leadership efforts and the atmosphere of our teams!
Fill your glass and then raise your glass!