Going Up?melindahill | November 8, 2011
On rainy dreary days like last week, it’s really hard for me to be upbeat, positive and energetic. I have a feeling that many of you may be able to sympathize with me or at least understand where I’m coming from. On the board above my desk I have a copy of the “mood elevator” described by Senn Delaney.
It looks like this:
Our emotional well-being is an important part of who we are and what we accomplish on a daily basis. When we find ourselves on the lower part of the “mood elevator”, our outlook on life and the effect that we have on those around us is not as productive or positive as it is when we are on the upper part. Larry Senn is the founder of the Senn Delaney group and gives the following tips from the Harvard Business Review to recognize and focus behavior towards a positive outcome. What I realize is that there is actual documentation that how I feel dominates not only my perspective, but those around me. Think about ways to apply the following tips in your daily life.
1. Become aware of your state of mind and use your feelings as your guide to the quality of your thinking. Make a conscious effort to notice where you are on the Mood Elevator. Use your feelings as indicators of the quality of your thought. Don’t let unhealthy thoughts become so normal you don’t notice them.
2. Take better care of yourself. Our physical state plays a role in our thinking. When we get tired and worn down we are more vulnerable to lower-quality thinking and lower moods.
3. Know your thoughts are unreliable when your mood drops. Our thoughts are often unreliable when we are in a lower state of mind. If possible, delay making major decisions until you move a few floors up the elevator. If you can’t wait, try to respond as you would if you were driving on an icy road: use caution and do not overreact.
4. Maintain your perspective through gratitude and a sense of humor. Taking the time to think each day of some things you can be grateful for is a powerful mood tonic. When you have perspective, you can see your momentary problem, challenge or issue in the context of all that you have going for you in life. Humor and lightness help you handle your serious challenges in a better, wiser state of mind.
5. Be aware of your leadership shadow. One reason to be aware of where you are on the Mood Elevator is that moods are contagious. The central finding of my doctoral dissertation on organizational culture published over 30 years ago was that an organization’s culture and climate is most greatly influenced by the shadow of their leaders. The biggest shadow we bring to work each day is our state of mind or mood. It is also the biggest one we carry home at night. That should be food for thought for all of us.
Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.