Have you ever had to work with a moody boss or a moody colleague? Consider yourself lucky if you haven’t – I know I’ve had a few occasions where I’ve been snapped at for no good reason – or at least not one that I knew of at the time!
How does that make you feel?
If you are inconsistent in the way you respond to your colleagues or lead your team you are sending mixed messages, and the real meaning of your messages may get lost in the noise generated by your moods.
At the very best it will probably mean that your colleagues will wait until you are in a good mood – just so they can spoil it with the bad news they’ve been saving up!
At the worst, you don’t get to hear about the problem until it is a disaster – when you might have dealt with it early on, when it was just a small problem.
If you have a team member who is sometimes in a bad mood, they can put the rest of the team off their stride.
The mixed messaging, whether from the top down of from peer to peer, destroys trust and creates barriers.
If your mood is changeable – if you are having a bad day – this first step is to tell people. They know already, so it is not a secret, and by opening up you make yourself appear honest and therefore more trustworthy. You’ll also find that telling people (you don’t whine about the reason, just say that you are a bit grumpy today) takes the pressure off you because you don’t have to pretend. That alone will make you feel a bit better!
If it is a team member who is having a bad day, telling them that you have noticed has much the same effect. Don’t get dragged into a long discussion about their woes – for some people the glass is always half-empty and they will drag you down with them – but you can show that you are paying attention. You also show the rest of the team that you are aware and watching. The grumpy one is on notice – being grumpy with your peers is one thing, being grumpy to the boss is something else!