In many organizations I’ve worked for, laughing was simply a crime. A manifestation of irresponsibility and immaturity. It was difficult to get this, seeing people in a bad mood eigth hours a day, five days a week. This happened not because people were like that, but because there were bad mood managers, that complained all day about everything.
Unfortunately, productivity is closely related with bad mood. Unfortunately too, managers and some leaders don’t know what bad mood do to the body and mind. And therefore, they don’t know what can happen to effectiveness, productivity, relationships and teams. They don’t know what can happen to innovation, to creativity. Oddly, they take some satisfaction by the fact they are in a bad mood.
According to a recent study of Marie Dasborough, two groups of people were interviewed after an experiment.
1 - The first group received negative feedback accompanied by positive emotional signals – nods or smiles.
2 - The other group was given a positive feedback that was delivered critically, with frowns and narrowed eyes.
What happened? The first group reported feeling better, although the negative feedback, because the good-natured delivery. The second group reported feeling worse about their performance, because of negative emotional signals.
So, as Daniel Goleman says, «if leaders hope to get the best out of their people, they should continue to be demanding but in ways that foster a positive mood in their teams. The old carrot-and-stick approach alone doesn’t make neural sense».