The Field Guide to Leading Teams

20/26Mind the mood - even at work.

How your team is feeling is more important than what they’re accomplishing or saying.

Emotional state plays a big part in the workday. It’s up to you as a team lead to get a good read on how each individual team member is feeling.

Someone’s mood can be a leading indicator of a brewing or undiscussed issue. If someone is worried or annoyed, it could be a signal to you and the rest of the team that a problem is about to rear its head. Chances are they’re struggling with something.

Understand that work is frequently a small part of someone’s overall mood. You’ve got real people on your team with their own lives with sometimes complex issues including family, health, finance, romance - whatever! Be a force of good in this equation by paying attention and acting accordingly.

Best Practices

  • Keep tabs team mood by letting teammates signal how they feel with an emoji. It's a non-intimidating way of understanding how everyone is feeling so you can go deeper if needed.
  • As a manager, you can use your team members’ moods to help prepare for 1:1s. Has someone been “meh” all week? Maybe they’re burning out or need a new challenge. Being aware of their moods will help identify problems early and spark important conversations.
  • Taking the time to think about how you’re feeling can also be useful. Being mindful of your emotions and sharing them will allow you to reflect on what’s contributing to and triggering those feelings. That self-reflection can lead to better self-awareness and EQ.