By Roydon Gibbs, Skillset New Zealand

You won't be surprised to hear that moods in the workplace can be contagious. But mood is more than just whether you have a nice day at work.

Moods directly influence performance.

Evidence?

In one experiment, a professional actor posing as a leader encouraged business students to process as many orders as possible in a simulated work activity. Results showed that the students exposed to the actor playing the part of an engaged, enthusiastic leader were more effective and produced more. (Let's call the outcome engagement.)

In another study of 2229 police officer working in 85 teams, researchers found a clear connection between the engagement of indivudals and the engagement of their teams. (They define engagement as the 'vigour, dedication and absorption' of individual team members.)

Having your daily conversations peppered with negative and cynical comments, being around workmates who habitually whinge, roll their eyes, shrug their shoulders and sigh—results in lower-performing teams.

The antidote

Use the contagious nature of emotions positively. So, be positively contagious.

Getting the balance right is important. Be generally positive, but don't avoid discussing frustrations or ignore problems. It is important that we step-up and address things when needed.

Just remember to talk optimistically, display a positive attitude, proactively put your energy into solving problems and fostering a sense of accomplishment. Your positive mood will rub off on others—and you will all get more done.

You might not be surprised to hear that research suggests that moods in the workplace can be contagious. But that’s not all—moods directly influence performance.

In one experiment, a professional actor posing as a leader encouraged business students to process as many orders as possible in a simulated work activity. Results showed that the students exposed to the actor playing the part of an engaged, enthusiastic leader were more effective and produced more.

In another study of 2229 police officer working in 45 teams, researchers found that a team's engagement was related to the 'vigour, dedication and absorption' of individual team members.

Interestingly, the researchers also found that the negative feelings that individuals had about their work and themselves also rubbed off on the team.

The mood of individual team members influences the performance of the team as a whole.

Having your daily conversations peppered with negative and cynical comments, being around workmates who habitually whinge, roll their eyes, shrug their shoulders and sigh—results in lower performing teams.

The antidote is to use the contagious nature of emotions positively. So, be positively contagious.

If you focus on sharing positive experiences with others and limit the time you spend in negative conversations, you can improve team mood and performance. This does not mean you should avoid discussing frustrations or ignore problems. It is important that we step-up and address things when needed. Just remember to talk optimistically, display a positive attitude, proactively put your energy into solving problems and fostering a sense of accomplishment. Your positive mood will rub off on others—and you will all get more done.