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How Moods Impact Results | LinkedIn

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August 26, 2013

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Emotions are highly intense, fleeting, and sometimes disruptive to work; moods tend to be less intense, longer-lasting feelings that typically don’t interfere with the job at hand. And an emotional episode usually leaves a corresponding lingering mood: a low-key, continual flow of feeling throughout the group. Although emotions and moods may seem trivial from a business point of view, they have real consequences for getting work done.

A leader’s mild anxiety can act as a signal that something needs more attention and careful thought. In fact, a sober mood can help immensely when considering a risky situation – and too much optimism can lead to ignoring dangers. A sudden flood of anger can rivet a leader’s attention on an urgent problem – such as the revelation that a senior executive has engaged in sexual harassment – redirecting the leader’s energies from the normal round of concerns toward finding a solution, such as improving the organization’s efforts to eliminate harassment.

While mild anxiety (such as over a looming deadline) can focus attention and energy, prolonged distress can sabotage a leader’s relationships and also hamper work performance by diminishing the brain’s ability to process information and respond effectively. A good laugh or an upbeat mood, on the other hand, more often enhances the neural abilities crucial for doing good work.

Both good and bad moods tend to perpetuate themselves, in part because they skew perceptions and memories: When people feel upbeat, they see the positive light in a situation and recall the good things about it, and when they feel bad, they focus on the downside.

Beyond this perceptual skew, the stew of stress hormones secreted when a person is upset takes hours to become reabsorbed in the body and fade away. That’s why a sour relationship with a boss can leave a person a captive of that distress, with a mind preoccupied and a body unable to calm itself: He got me so upset during that meeting I couldn’t go to sleep for hours last night. As a result, we naturally prefer being with people who are emotionally positive, in part because they make us feel good.

Learn more about my research findings on emotionally intelligent leadership in my upcoming digital audiobook Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence – Selected Writings. The print edition is available now from More Than Sound.


Daniel Goleman’s upcoming book FOCUS: The Hidden Driver of Excellence and CD Cultivating Focus: Techniques for Excellence are now available for pre-order (publication date is October 8).

His more recent books are The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights and Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence – Selected Writings (More Than Sound).

Leadership: A Master Class is Goleman’s first-ever comprehensive video series that examines the best practices of top-performing executives.

Featured on:Leadership & Management

Posted by:Daniel Goleman

via How Moods Impact Results | LinkedIn.


Born in 1964, business owner, from Woodbridge, VA, owns ExcitingAds! Inc. ( and blog ( He was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. His elementary school was ST. Michael's Convent High School, Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated high school from ST. Bonaventure's Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. His pre-med college was S. A. L. Govt. College, Mirpurkas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan in 1990. Earned equivalency certification from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA in 1994.

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