Business Psychology: The Power of State – “How to directly Improve Performance”

Emotional Atmosphere

The recent surge around the idea of a business culture, is addressing not only the idea of the business model being fully utilized in not only creating how the business operates as a dynamic interaction, but also the emotional atmosphere that’s necessary to produce the desired behavior as natural performance. All behavior is emotionally driven. The emotion a person is experiencing at any given moment is directly reflected in their behavior. Not so much in terms of “what” they’re doing, but “how” they’re doing it. How they’re feeling and acting simultaneously influences everyone around them with the same feeling-state, stimulating the same emotions in others and calling them forth, changing their mood accordingly.

In order to get optimal performance, you have to create the state of mind out of which it naturally comes as the expression of that feeling. We perform best when relaxed, focused, and in a positive frame of mind. Our state is created by what we focus on, what story we tell ourselves “about” what we’re focused on, our emotional response to our own thoughts, and our physiology or what we’re doing with our body. Whatever we focus on with strong feelings, we move into and create out of in an automatic and natural manner. We multiply it by thinking about it. The emotion that we attach to a thought, or the one that acts as a trigger to produce our thoughts, determines how we continue to develop the idea in our mind as the expression of that emotion. This emotional idea developed through our imagination produces natural behavior that creates an experience that gives us more of the same feeling. Our behavior moves the internal idea outward, producing it as an external reality.

If we act to keep people focused on mistakes, pointing them out and talking to them in a way that makes them feel bad by how we treat them, thinking that this will prevent them from making more mistakes, we actually act influence their state of mind based on the experience we give them, and they will continue to “perform” out of that state, creating more of the same type of experiences by virtually making more and more mistakes. It also produces energy in the atmosphere that can be felt by everyone at some level, and influences them either directly or subliminally.

Likewise, if we focus people on what we “want” them to do, and teach them ideas we want them to perform, delivered with positive emotions that encourage, support, inspire and produce a sense of enthusiasm around the idea, they will naturally act to create more of that type of experience. They’ll feel good, be able to relax and concentrate, and will perform their job out of that state producing corresponding experiences. They do things correctly with a good attitude and in the desired manner, while having a positive influence on others, and interact through a state of positive emotions that are uplifting in nature.

A positive state produces equivalent behavior. States have realities in them as the type of experiences they naturally produce. Negative emotions are gripping, cause tension in the body and the inability to concentrate. Positive emotions relax the body, make people present, and enhance the ability to concentrate on whatever they’re doing. Pointing out mistakes and getting on people about them, undermine their confidence and cause them to begin second guessing themselves and hesitate to make decisions out of fear of being wrong. By talking to people about how to do things and taking an attitude of teaching what you want them to do, empowers them by providing them with the resources necessary to gain confidence and be able to make sound decisions.

Our state or mood can be directly “felt” by everyone around us and acts to stimulate those same feelings in them. People who communicate through negative focus emphasized through expressing them with negative emotions (anger, frustration, condescending, demeaning, belittling, etc.) are counter productive to the performance goals of the company’s business model and act like a cancer within the organization. They are disruptive, cause employee turn-over, and produce a sense of retaliation amongst the employees. Likewise, a consultant that comes in to problem-solve with an attitude of finding mistakes and correcting them, usually acts to infect the establishment with more mistakes, while causing morale problems, often without ever realizing that that’s what they’re doing. If however they take an attitude of providing people with new tools and resources for achieving a different outcome, or looking for untapped potential in a situation and acting to develop that, they serve to grow the organization into a higher potential in which the mistakes naturally go away. The positive focus and emotional delivery also builds confidence and creates a sense of bonding that breeds loyalty.

When we cultivate a positive state as the general atmosphere of a business, and we keep people focused on positive and productive ideas by teaching them “how” to do things we create a positive association in their mind, that creates a bonding affect or an anchor that automatically boosts their state whenever we’re around. They simply feel better whenever we’re around. We create a sense of trust and safety that encourages openness and honesty. We cultivate an atmosphere that produces the best possible performance by everyone involved. We create a dynamic team who channels positive energy into productive and innovative ideas. We get the best out of people because we give our best and are intelligent about how we develop them. What we put in, we create in others in a like manner, and they return it to us. How we treat our employees is how they treat our clients or customers. Not necessarily in a direct manner, but by being in the same state of mind that expresses to create the same type of experiences. When we feel bad we act to make others feel bad. When we feel good we act in a way that makes others feel good. How we feel determines not so much what we do, but “how” we do it, the attitude we embody as we perform it. The best act performed with a bad attitude creates a bad experience. It’s our attitude that forms our perspective and how we approach things.

So the business model of any business should also describe the state or emotional quality that’s to be created, nourished and maintained through the communication skills being taught and employed by every individual. Job descriptions should include what personality type is best suited to perform the operations. Teams should be built by picking members whose natural personality is best suited for their part in the team effort. Management and key people within an organization that bear a direct influence on the atmosphere of the business as the “mood”, or energy that’s created through the quality of their daily interaction, should be given the education and coaching necessary to develop superior psychological skills that they incorporate into their daily style for performing their job. Very few people have these skills naturally, and so must be trained and mentored to develop them. What they do have naturally is their personality and predisposition for learning, which is critical for being open to training with a desire to learn, improve, and grow themselves along with their ability to grow other people in an equivalent manner. As business leaders and creators, we have to provide our team members with the resources necessary to perform at the desired level of excellence set by our company standards. We have to invest in their success which is what creates our success.

Dr. Linda Gadbois
Professional Development Trainer and Coach