Happy days!

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” Abraham Lincoln

Happy people can be truly frustrating sometimes! We all have that colleague who is always upbeat and optimistic, with seemingly nothing able to bring them down. What is it that they have which makes them so resilient?

Happiness is the experiencing of pleasant emotional states, directed primarily towards present, rather than past, life satisfaction or future optimism, says Dr Geetu Bharwaney in her acclaimed book, Emotional Resilience.

We also all know that working alongside ‘happy people’ is far, far easier and more productive and enjoyable than working for pessimistic types! It is probably true to say that they do make their minds up to be happy as they decide not to let their reactions be dictated by stressful situations, difficult days or moody colleagues! It is true that some people find this easier than others, but it is worth studying your happy colleagues and watching their reactions when things don’t go to plan!

If you sometimes struggle with your mood at work, you can try a number of activities outlined in the book, including scanning your daily mood, knowing your feelings, remembering to note the positives and working towards a more even-tempered nature.

The first thing we do is look at your FOE! Focus, Openness and Energy. How focused are you feeling right now? How open are you feeling and how energetic are you feeling right now?

If you are about to go into a meeting, just give yourself a quick FOE check, scoring your focus, openness and energy on a scale of one to ten. Observe how your scoring affects your performance. It feels a bit odd at first but quickly becomes easy and automatic. By acknowledging that you are feeling a bit out of sorts because your morning commute was difficult, you will build your self-awareness, and once you are aware, you can take your own actions to manage your mood.

As a team leader, it is vital that you develop self-awareness as your feelings will quickly pass to your team, and nothing stops a team in its tracks faster than negativity.

A key tip from the book is to develop a daily practice of gratitude and keep a running list of what you are grateful for. It might be an appreciation of your team’s hard work, a productive meeting, the pleasure of passing on great customer feedback or just a sunny day!

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