25 May 2016

Have you ever woken up on the wrong side of the bed?

wrong side of the bedNot literally, perhaps, but figuratively. Waking up ‘out of sorts’ and deciding that you awoke on the ‘wrong side’ inevitably affects your whole day and the people around you.

But is that right? Should we let that happen?

Should you let the way you feel immediately after waking dictate the rest of the day? As a business leader, you have a responsibility to stop and consider how this behaviour affects the people around you.

One of the most contagious things in a workplace is negativity. It spreads like wildfire and can be just as damaging. Allowing emotions to dictate the way in which you communicate with the team is enough of a spark to set negativity in motion and, if you’re not careful, it can quickly get out of hand.

But, if you take a moment to think about it, our emotions don’t affect the way we communicate. In reality, the way we communicate has a huge influence on our mood.

Smiling, even if you don’t feel like smiling, can dramatically alter your mood and that of an entire room. It’s so simple but it works. Whilst you may preoccupied with financials, commercial decisions or personal matters, being conscious of the mood that you communicate externally can, in fact, make you feel better.

I often talk about the shadows that we cast in a room when we enter it. Do you enter the room like a dark cloud or do you create light and lift the mood? How is the room when you leave it – full of energy or quiet and flat?

It’s all too easy to become caught in a spiral of negativity, spark the fire and let negativity spread but ultimately what does that achieve? A bigger problem: Unhappy people in your team ultimately make you more unhappy.

Whenever I’ve had a sleepless night or my day hasn’t started as planned, I take time for myself. I go to the gym, I play squash or I take some quiet time to play chess. These exercises are also a steadfast part of my daily routine. It’s an opportunity to pause, to reflect and to distract myself from the initial mood of the morning. It works.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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