Check Negative Emotions at the Office Door

Smiling is contagious! And that’s just one example of how our environment and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound impact on our mood. That’s why it’s so important to maintain a healthy work environment. As a recent HBR article points out: “emotional contagion can take down your whole team.”

Author Tony Schwartz makes clear just how much emotions matter in the workplace. Remember the feeling of dreariness that envelops you when you’re at the DMV? Compare that to the level of energy and happiness that charge your experience at the Apple Store.

Emotional contagions can make or break your team. The author enumerates five takeaways on emotions in the workplace:

  1. The emotions people bring to work are as important as their cognitive skills, especially for leaders.
  2. Because it’s not possible to check our emotions at the workplace door — even when that’s expected — it pays to be aware of what you’re feeling in any given moment. You can’t change what you don’t notice.
  3. Negative emotions spread fast and are highly toxic.
  4. Authenticity matters. You can’t fake positivity for long.
  5. The key is to embrace the paradox of realistic optimism: look for the most empowering take on a situation, but confront difficulty and deal with it directly.

Do you agree with these takeaways? Please share!

Ritu Walia is a FG Analyst.

Comments (3)

  1. Pingback: Is The Pharmacological Business is Running Your Life? » Dawning Visions Hypnosis, Inc.

  2. Christine, I completely agree. I could be having the worst day and sometimes a smile from someone next to me on the subway can change that completely around.

  3. Absolutely, and everywhere, not just work. It’s almost amazing what a genuine smile and kind greeting can do at the grocery store, in a parking lot, or waiting in line almost anywhere.

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