Good and bad days begin early in the morning

got up on the wrong side of the bedAs someone who sometimes manages to start the day like a bear with a sore head – I’ve noticed, if the first few minutes are a bit wobbly, the rest of the day often follows suit i.e. the day turns into a unbearable wobble-filled nightmare.

This week’s Neurotechnology Tip confirms, it isn’t your imagination – better days begin with good moods.

Monitoring mood rings

Researchers from Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business tracked how the beginning of the work day, influenced the work day.

The researchers studied the moods of 29 people tasked with chatting to customers of a large insurance company. Of course, all the calls were recorded for quality control purposes, so the overall “mood” during telephone conversations, could be monitored.

Each employee’s “mood” during the calls, was evaluated by an independent coder, who eaves dropped on the conversation and decided how rude, calm, insulting and cheerful the conversation had been – from both sides of the call. The number of calls answered was also recorded.

The researchers also obtained feedback from the employees regarding how they were feeling through a questionnaire. Employee mood was assessed on multiple occasions during the three week period of the study.

Moody blues

Mood is not fixed, so bad moods could turn positive and positive moods could turn thunderous. But it seemed for the most part, the start-of-the-day mood, determined the direction of mood trends for the rest of the day.

When the morning kicked off on a high note, customer aggression and rudeness had little impact. The day received an overall thumbs up.

But a rough start, often seemed to linger all day.

So if you’re acting bear-like, does it really matter ? Being miserable is your fundamental right !

The good mood advantage

Mood mattered when it came to performance and productivity.

Customer calls had a lot more sparkle, when the company representative was in a positive humour. For one thing, verbal fluency improved, so there were a lot less “um” and “uh” happening, awkward pauses during the conversations were also minimized, so was mumbling and tripping over words.

People in a good mood also took more calls, than those in a negative frame of mind.

Start the day right

If I am perfectly honest – my bear with a sore head days, are usually my own fault.

I either went to bed too late or left things to the last minute, so I ended up being short on time causing me to be short tempered.

Guard your mood early in the morning, to maximize your performance. It is hard for your brain to snap out of a bout of negativity.

Waking Up on the Right or Wrong Side of the Bed: Start-of-workday Mood, Work Events, Employee Affect, and Performance. Academy of Management Journal (2011) 54(5):959-980.  Nancy P. Rothbard, Steffanie L. Wilk.

To wire up your brain a little each week ………………..

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Hire Dr Sandy from a Spoonful of Science to be the keynote speaker at your next event.

Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below

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  1. By » Blog Archive » Round up 14 May – 18 May on May 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    [...] Good and bad days begin early in the morning [...]

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