Some call it grouchy, irascible, slow burn, sour, grumpy, funk, or conniption. Most commonly it’s just called a bad mood.
Many people are susceptible to waking in the morning and finding themselves in this condition. And, for those encountering this person, it’s not a pleasant experience. It’s always best to stay away and wait for a better time to talk to them. We all know that people in this condition need to be avoided at all costs.
We have all see this happen. Someone shows up to work in an angry, foul, and bad mood. A message races through the office to avoid this person, or your life will be in peril. The entire workforce is held ransom by this one person, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief when they show up the next day back to their normal personality.
Managing a Bad Mood
There are lots of opinions on how we need to deal with these individuals and, of course, I have my ideas which are somewhat counter to most.
As manager, you cannot let this person dictate the climate of your entire office.
You are the owner, manager and/or boss. Your job is productivity, and this single individual has hijacked your authority. You need to exert control over anyone or anything that undermines your operation. What would you do if someone showed up for work in a clown suit (assuming that is not your normal line of business)? Or someone showed up with an outrageous odor? Or someone played a radio at a high volume? In all those cases you would intervene. The same needs to be true for the person with the bad mood.
My experience with people in a bad mood is they are not cognizant their mood is affecting anyone other than themselves.
Most are so deep in their foul feelings that they do not see the influence they have on others. As a manager, your responsibility is to make them aware of the impact they are having on your business and, just like any other negative influence on your business, it cannot be tolerated.
The bad mood needs to be solved.
Bad moods can be mitigated, and managers can make suggestions to employees on actions they can take to improve their condition.
A recent Harvard Business Review article presents research showing that of the business leaders interviewed, most were unable to dispel their bad mood. Although they could not overcome their bad mood, this article points out four actions that have some success in reversing a bad mood: engage breathing, activate positive feelings, reframe thinking, and re-engage action.
A Better Solution
While these four, and probably more recommended by other experts, will have some effect on a bad mood, there is really a better solution.
Two relevant verses from the Bible say.
John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
The gospel of Christ is the ultimate solution to a bad mood.
First, the Bible gives the bad mood perspective. The things of this world are really secondary to the saving grace of Christ.
Second, the Bible reminds us we have a God who loves us no matter what. We are sinful people, yet God not only forgives all our transgressions, but He forgets them as if they never existed.
Third, you cannot get over a bad mood without help, and that help is found in the pages of the gospel.
Finally, your story is in the Bible. No matter what circumstance caused your bad mood, that story is revealed somewhere in the Bible. If you do not know your way around the Bible, find a friend who does and let them help you with your bad mood.
Being in a bad mood should never control your happiness. Getting over a bad mood is not as difficult as it may seem, and your coworkers will thank you.