Your "mood" is contagious. We are all tuning forks. We express the way we feel in our tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, and subtle chemical reactions. These vibrations affect those around us. And the vibrations of those around us, as well as our environment, affect our own mental state.
Mood contagion takes place in shared physical spaces, in virtual environments, and even through writing - this occurs everywhere tone and body language operate.
Everyone’s mental state influences that of the group. The group’s state of mind – its vibe – impacts group performance. The impact may be positive or not. Enthusiasm, realistic optimism, and a sense of happiness enable optimal performance. Feelings like anger, depression, jealousy, and pessimism have an opposite effect; they drain energy and get in the way of collaboration.
The Role of Mindful Self-Awareness
Knowing this, we must bring mindful self-awareness into play to enable self-management - the ability to moderate emotions in keeping with the needs of the situation at hand. Mindful self-awareness enables social awareness - an increased sensitivity to the dynamics of our environment and relationships. This in turn enables relationship management, which is arguably the most critical success factor in organizational performance and personal health and happiness.
We are all tuning forks that can affect our own vibrations. It is our responsibility, regardless of our position, to cultivate the mindful self-awareness that makes it possible for us to have a calming, energizing, and performance enhancing influence upon those with whom we come in contact. As a leader, it is our job to make sure that everyone on our team understands their responsibility, and that they have the tools to manage their social and team impact as skillfully as possible.
Sustainable Behavioral Change via Ongoing Practice
To cultivate increased mindful self-awareness it's important to practice doing so on a regular basis. The Mindful Life, Mindful Work, Inc. team has woven such practices into the very fabric of our company, and we invite you to the below offerings for those interested in learning from and practicing with this article's author (bio below):
George Pitagorsky’s mission is to guide people to create healthy, happy, and highly effective teams, organizations, and communities. He has decades of experience as a globally recognized project, program and process management expert, teacher, and technology executive. His experience includes six years as CIO for a multi-billion-dollar government agency, and as a principle in a technology start-up. As Director of Program Development George brings over ten years of experience in that role for an international learning organization.