Today’s competitive marketplace encourages leaders to focus on success. Reward systems are often based on only one thing – delivering bottom line results. Is it any wonder so many leaders are tough on their teams and push them to achieve?
Offering constructive feedback is an important role for every leader yet some do it far better than others. One reason may be how the leader’s mood is perceived during the conversation.
I have an introverted style when offering feedback and have found that others sometimes interpret my rather unemotional input as intimidating or angry. Over time I have learned how to soften my mood to create a friendlier environment for the other person. My message didn’t change, just how I chose to deliver it.
Like me, you may resist this need to monitor your mood with team members. Isn’t being candid a good way to get through to people about their bad behaviors? The truth always hurts just a little, doesn’t it?
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of monitoring your emotions during a tough conversation, here are some quick tips to make it easier to change your approach.
- Practice being more approachable all the time by greeting people in the hall, smiling, making more eye contact, and inserting some enthusiasm into your conversations.
- Get to know the people you work with on a personal level. It’s easy to forget that your team members have families and outside interests. You don’t need to be best friends with everyone, but knowing them better and showing you have a fun side is another way to alter your mood.
- Remember that people are making an effort to do the right things. When a problem occurs, it is easy for many leaders to show how unhappy they are, even without saying a word. Just because someone does things differently than you would, or screwed up a task that you though should be a slam dunk, doesn’t make them stupid or incompetent.
Will monitoring your mood make a difference? One way to answer this question is to consider why you show up for work every day. All of us want to know that our work is appreciated. When leaders regularly acknowledge the contributions of team members, engagement and morale will improve.
Learning how to monitor your mood, especially when delivering feedback, is one way to move in this direction.