Recently after completing one of those crazy Facebook quizzes and thinking about how it seemed to come back surprisingly spot on, upon further reflection I realized it may not be so.  The quiz results said I love honesty and hate moody people. Yes, this is true and received comments of affirmation, but after applying it back to myself, the moody part may apply to me too at times, especially while in the workplace.

Daniele, our awe-inspiring Creative Director and employee of fourteen years at FLCC, sent me this link from The Happiness Lab Podcast regarding how others’ moods can affect your own happiness and the productivity of the whole office. This especially applies to the leader. It is called “Emotional Contagion”, and it can shape an entire group or organization.

Emotional contagion is the phenomenon of having one person’s emotions and related behaviors directly trigger similar emotions and behaviors in other people. The podcast has a segment on how this occurs especially in the workplace.

The podcast talks about how laughter and emotion tracks are added into sitcoms to get people to join in on them.  Here’s a clip of the Big Bang Theory without the laugh track. 

As much as the soundtracks irritate me at times, after listening to the soundtrack without them, the jokes really don’t seem as funny and some not are not funny at all.  What do you think?

My DiSC style is a D.  My stressors include lacking control over a situation, becoming bogged down with inefficiency, dealing with people who don’t meet certain standards, and being forced to pay attention to the emotional needs of others, just to name a few.  If you are a D style, you may share these stressors with me.

If you are a C, then a few of your stressors may be making decisions without time for analysis, dealing with a chaotic environment, not having private time, and being forceful or insistent among others. S and i styles have their stressors also and, with all of us, can trigger the mood changes within us.  The emotional contagion is how our dispositions stir emotions that then create behaviors which may be emulated by others–especially if you are in a leadership role.

According to the Interaction Design Foundation, an independent nonprofit initiative to share Ivy League studies at affordable costs, “emotion is the conscious experience of affect, complete with attribution of its cause, and identification of its object.”  See the diagram they provided below.

After more than a quarter century coaching and staffing construction and development companies, we often notice employees who just can’t control their emotions in the workplace, and who, as a result, affect others around them.  This happens either causing them to behave badly, or by generally sucking life out of others. Some employees are consistently affecting others.  Sometimes the moods are sporadic. Either way, as you will see, it can certainly rub off on others, and affect their job performance and attitudes.

Is there anyone in your office who inconsistently stirs emotions in others, good or bad?

Maybe an Eeyore, generally characterized as pessimistic, gloomy, and depressed?

A drama King or Queen, who reacts to situations in an unnecessarily dramatic or exaggerated manner?

You may have an office narcissist. You can spot them by their arrogance, temper tantrums, entitlement issues, and insistent self-involvement.

Do you have someone who turns the entire office upside down? Some employees deal with stress by cursing, pacing, crying, or, in the worst cases, lashing out in anger so vehemently that they destroy property or assault others.

Dr. Jody J. Foster did this article for INC on the most dangerous workplace personalities.  I have to agree with her that the most difficult for an employer is “The Swindler”.  Having employed swindlers over the years for short periods of time, the emotional cognition fervently wreaks havoc on a company.  It certainly elicits a tightening of policies, security, and any loose ends, as they mess not just with emotions, but anything they can consume for themselves. You discover who at your company will speak up and who won’t in good or bad situations.

Last year the blog post “You’re Stressing Me Out” was followed by an article on Emotional Intelligence (EI).  Your (EI) by definition, emphasizes practical use–an individual’s ability to apply his or her knowledge of emotions to manage one’s own behavior (or, to influence others).  Increasing your EI will help you advance in your career, as self-awareness is the ability to recognize a feeling as it’s happening to you.

So, whether your own emotions or dealing with others remember – “I Feel You” and others do too.

To the Best You,

Suzanne Breistol

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