“Buoyant Moods” Improve Performance

Leading for Result’s Quotation of the Week: " Positive emotions such as compassion, confidence, and generosity have a decidedly constructive effect on neurological functioning, psychological well-being, physical health, and personal relationships." —Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee (Photo: Dennis Sparks)

A recent Wall Street Journal article noted that “Research shows that employees’ positive attitudes can be good for business . . . . A 2004 study of 60 business teams in the journal American Behavioral Scientist found teams with buoyant moods who encouraged each earned higher profit and better customer-satisfaction ratings.”

Although the article describes business settings, its discussion of the value of positive emotions in the workplace has implications for school leaders

The WSJ article touts the use of “happiness coaches” in businesses, but in my experience nothing can replace the influence of leaders’ authentic positive emotions in establishing the tone and energy level of the organization. Because teachers and others in the school community take their emotional cues from their leaders, leaders’ emotional resilience and “resonance” offer yet another example of why important organizational change begins with important changes within leaders.

3 Responses to ““Buoyant Moods” Improve Performance”


  1. 1 Carol February 4, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Happiness comes from within!

  2. 2 Laurie February 5, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I agree 100%. It is this positive energy that helps to provide the sense of hopefulness, which is also indicated in your writings as being an important part of the role of the leader.

  3. 3 Karen February 7, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Agreed! This supports the work of David Rock in his book, Quiet Leadership, where he talks about the iceberg model. He says performance – what we do – is only the tip of the iceberg. That the more important issues of what we think and how we feel (emotion) are below the surface of the water and profoundly impact what we do and the outcomes we achieve.


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