Leaders – Is Your Bad Mood Affecting Performance?

There is now well-documented evidence from the field of neuroscience, to prove that how leaders behave and present themselves has a real and long-lasting impact on motivation, performance and the ability to effect change.

As humans the social nature of our behaviour is now scientifically understood  We thrive on social connection and as a result our moods have the propensity to travel through organisations like electricity through wires, influencing and impacting the mood of others as they go. This has implications for everyone who holds a leadership role.

Bad moods travel through organisations like electricity through wire which has significant implications for leadership.

There is now well-documented evidence from the field of neuroscience, to prove that how leaders behave and present themselves has a real and long-lasting impact on motivation, performance and the ability to effect change.

Bad moods travel through organisations like electricity through wire which has significant implications for leadership.

As humans the social nature of our behaviour is now scientifically understood. Not only do we connect with each other all the time, consciously and unconsciously, moods really do travel through organisations like electricity through wires. This has implications for everyone who holds a leadership role.

Leaders and managers influence motivation and engagement whether they are conscious of it or not.

Leaders and managers influence motivation and engagement whether they are conscious of it or not and, as such, being aware of the latest research into how the brain works sharpens knowledge and understanding.

Imagine a scenario which I’m sure many people can relate to; sitting in an office, everyone happily getting on with their work then suddenly someone comes stomping in, slamming the door, throwing their things on the desk.  The change in the atmosphere is noticeable and the mood in the room is instantly affected.  If that person is a leader within the organisation then the effect is magnified further and if that behaviour is constant then it can have far reaching and negative consequences within an organisation.

A leader who shouts and swears is likely to create an environment and a team which also shouts and swears, and such is the power of leadership behaviour then that team is likely to continue shouting and swearing even when the leader is away on holiday.

If we are cynical or negative in our delivery of information then this will travel through the team

It’s important then to be mindful of the crucial role in leadership when communicating, if we are cynical or negative in our delivery of information, then it is likely that this negativity will be channelled through the team and across the organisation.

Additionally, when communicating change, it is useful to recognise that change often carries an element of uncertainty and as humans we have a natural tendency to view uncertainty as threat.  The more we as leaders can do to alleviate any uncertainty, the more we are able to reduce the threat response and the more engaged our teams are likely to be with the change in hand.

Effective communication is identified as a key driver of employee engagement, supporting the delivery of a strong, consistent organisational narrative, setting expectations regarding vision, mission and purpose and ensuring open feedback loops are well established and understood.

Whilst internal communication continues to be a crucial component of organisational success, today’s business environment also insists on leaders who have the capability to engage, motivate and inspire. What is increasingly understood is that non-verbal communication; how leaders behave and present themselves and the mood they display – has a real and long-lasting impact on motivation, performance and the ability to effect change.

Deborah Hulme, Neuroleader, Communications & Engagement Practitioner, Minerva Engagement

Minerva Engagement provides support to its clients using applied neuroscience to improve individual, team and organisational performance and wellbeing.  Specialists in the areas of communication, change, engagement and leadership development the Minerva team understands what it takes to improve business performance through the people that make the organisation.  For more details on how we can support your business click here.