Recent Comments

    What Does Your Mood Have to Do with Your Success?

    By Julie Gleeson

    Many years ago, I heard about a project team that was struggling to accomplish their goals. They were over budget and behind schedule. They were anxious, frustrated and feeling pressured. With one simple insight, something extraordinary occurred.

    The team leader knew that people who work under stress are much less creative, efficient and productive. He called a team meeting and told them the facts as he saw them. First, he took all of the blame for the state of the project. He told them that they were probably not going to finish on time, and were almost certainly going to be over budget. He informed the team that he would go to his supervisor and reset expectations, making sure it was clear that he alone was to blame. He then told them to go home for the day, sleep, and then come in refreshed and ready to do the very best job they could.

    Guess what happened? The removal of the pressure created a relaxed team, one that could think outside the box. The project not only came in under budget, but it also came in on time. What could explain that?

    When people work in a tense, tight mood, they lose energy pushing the proverbial rock uphill. They are unable to hear fresh thinking or new, creative ideas.

    When the team leader removed the pressure, the team was able to work naturally, and became curious about how to accomplish the mission. Suddenly, things looked different—and more fun—and people listened to each other because it was interesting.  Now, instead of blaming, they were attentive. They knew when to ask questions, and they listened more deeply to the ideas others offered. People enjoyed each other, and they were free to work because they loved it.

    The only thing that changed was the mood of the team. And that is something you can always impact. Moods are like clouds, always coming and going. If you notice you are in a low mood, take a few deep breaths, or excuse yourself. Never try to work on anything essential until you feel relaxed and curious. A short walk to another room or around the building usually allows the mood to go by. Once it has, you can immediately feel the relaxation and creativity come back.

    Never try to fix another’s mood. And never, ever take things personally. Blame and labeling are some of the first signs of a low mood. Step back, breathe, and reconsider the situation. If there is nothing wrong with you, your coworkers or the project, how do you accomplish what needs to be done? That is a much better place to look. When you are in a healthy state of mind, it becomes possible to lead, coach, mentor and accomplish, all while enjoying your work.

    It starts with you to change the culture and feeling of your workplace. As you become known for an even frame of mind, people around you will relax and do their best work.

    Julie Gleeson is the Co-founder of Career Wisdom Institute and the Founder of The Art of Living, Inc. She brings over 25 years of experience as a consultant in the fields of resilience, stress and overwhelm elimination, career designing, and couples mentoring. Julie also co-authored a best-selling book, “Inside Job, 8 Secrets to Loving Your Work and Thriving” (Bush Street Press, 2012).