We live in a time of metric mania. We know it’s important to measure how we’re doing and that metrics can lead us to better decision-making.
But we’ve got to make sure we’re measuring the right things and also know that some elements are tricky to measure. For example, how someone “feels” on your team or within your organization isn’t always the easiest thing to measure when it relates to wins and losses.
However, ask anyone who’s ever been on a winning or losing team whether how they feel matters and watch them light up. Everyone who has experienced the top-of-the-mountain euphoria of achieving, winning, or accomplishing a goal, knows that the feeling, the mojo, the momentum, the attitude and spirit of the group is like fuel for the engine.
At the other end of the spectrum, ask any individual or any team that has been living in the cellar for the last few years and experiencing very little success about whether feelings matter. They will talk about the constant drain of negativity, the hopelessness of attitudes, and the extreme pressure from all over. You don’t think that has a negative impact on their performance?
Teams or departments, entire businesses, marriages, families, churches, schools, or organizations of any kind all run on the fuel of the feelings and attitudes of their people. And some fuel is cleaner than others.
Don’t take my word for it. Barsade and O’Neill, in an article published in the January/February 2016 issue of The Harvard Business Review commented:
“Countless empirical studies show the significant impact of emotions on how people perform on tasks, how engaged and creative they are, how committed they are to their organizations, and how they make decisions. Positive emotions are consistently associated with better performance, quality, and customer service… On the flip side (with certain short-term exceptions), negative emotions such as group anger, sadness, fear, and the like usually lead to negative outcomes, including poor performance and high turnover.”
Setting the temperature in your team starts with conversations that allow you to align human beings, make sure all are on the same page about where Point A is, and manage the collective emotions. When emotions are left unattended to and there is no clear temperature you’re trying to set, you’ll slip back into thermometer mode. And that little red line will just go up and down depending on the moods of the day and the external forces against you.
Jason Barger is the globally celebrated author of Step Back from the Baggage Claim, ReMember, and the newly released book Thermostat Cultures, as well as a coveted keynote speaker and leadership consultant. More importantly, he’s striving to be an above average father, husband, and friend.
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