Blog

Negative Moods Spread. How to Stop Them at Work

| Mary Shores

When something negative happens in our personal lives, it can be hard not to carry those emotions into work with us. We all have lives outside of work, and sometimes life throws curveballs.

Being in a bad mood can affect our ability to focus at work and get things done. And we probably notice this, right? That our productivity is off? Tasks take longer to complete or they don’t get completed at all.

What might be less obvious to us is how our negative mood and energy are affecting the people we work with.

Negative moods spread. When someone, especially a company’s leader, comes to work in a bad mood, it can weaken team morale and productivity. The office environment starts to feel very tense and work slows down.

I’ll be honest. Juggling personal issues and work is tough. It’s something that I struggled with recently. Let me explain.

One of my team members scheduled a start date for a new employee that I thought was very quick. She explained her decision, but I peppered her with questions.

As it happens, I was dealing with some events in my personal life that were very urgent and making me stressed. I carried that stress into my conversation with my team member.

Everyone has good days and bad days. That’s part of being human. That being said, when I’m in a bad mood, I’ve found there are things I can do to stop my mood from spreading to my team.

Try these and see what a difference it makes!

1) Be open

Give your team a heads up that you’re going through something personally. This prevents your team members from worrying that they are the source of your bad mood.

2) Shift your schedule

If you know there’s a meeting, phone call, etc. that you’re not going to be able to handle professionally, pause and see if you can tackle it at a later date. It’s better to take on important projects with a clear head.

3) Start small

Make a list of what needs to get done and tackle the easiest items first. You’ll still feel like you’re getting work done, and you’ll build up momentum to take on the larger tasks on your list. If you have a big project looming, break it up into smaller tasks.

4) Find an outlet

Whether it’s exercise, music, mediation, or something else, it’s important to find healthy outlets for dealing with our emotions. When we can channel our emotions into some other activity, it’s less likely we’ll carry them into work with us.

It’s unrealistic to think we can remove negative emotions from our lives completely, but there are things we can do to keep those emotions from spreading to our co-workers.

I want to hear from you! Was there a time when events in your personal life affected your dealings at work? How did you make it through?

To read this article as originally written, visit MaryShores.com

Back to Blog