Recently I was working on a project where I have long term relationship with the organisation. The team had always had its challenges and always had a challenging culture, but you would still largely find people who were happy and were passionate about seeing the team succeed. Now it felt like everyone in the team was like one of those zombies in The Return of the Living Dead, but rather than eating brains they were just hanging out for a redundancy.
I felt it myself when I was introduced to a new senior leader who grunted at me when introduced, didn’t recognise me at later encounters, and every time I saw them they had a frown on their face. The contagious effect of this was quite apparent and the change in attitude of their team was quite observable. What was once one of the most constructive teams in the organisation was now one of the most oppositional. Their previous leader was jovial and their new leader was a grump.
It only further re-enforced to me that if you are not happy, positive and comfortable with yourself, how can you expect to be a positive influence on others? So the learning here is simple – smile it’s contagious.