Why Being Too Happy Is Bad For Your Career

Being happy may have worked out well for Bobby McFerrin, but that doesn’t mean you should walk around with a “fake it until you make it” mentality.

In life, there are definitely things that we overindulge on that we probably shouldn’t, such as alcohol consumption, working out, social media, Netflix and of course eating raw cookie dough – but what about happiness?

Is it possible to overindulge on being happy?

The short answer is yes.

According to one recent article, too much cheerfulness can actually make you selfish, gullible and potentially less successful. I don’t know about you, but my smile just shrunk a bit. The article clearly compares happiness to food which really makes sense:

Although necessary and beneficial, too much food can cause problems; likewise, happiness can lead to bad outcomes. “Research indicates that very high levels of positive feelings predict risk-taking behaviors, excess alcohol and drug consumption, binge eating, and may lead us to neglect threats.”

We can all thank Shakespeare for coining this now popular phrase “too much of a good thing” from his 15th century play “As You Like It”, but regardless of the century – we find ourselves at the crossroads of a world that’s designed around abundance…including cookie dough.

For help pushing yourself through stagnation:

We live in a 24/7/365 supersized world that forces us to overindulge on everything from technology to food. It’s hard to escape, but not impossible. Studies have shown that too many choices drive us to feel worse and that people who “maximize”—trying to make the best possible choice from a wide range of options—experience greater depression, perfectionism and self-doubt.

What about at work, could too much “happy” in the workplace be a bad thing?

I recently finished the incredible book The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self–Not Just Your “Good” Self–Drives Success and Fulfillment where it states that happiness can indeed hurt your performance. It’s true that a positive culture and work environment boost happiness (ie: Google, Facebook, and Linkedin to name a few), however, there is a downside to all the perks. Studies have shown:

Happy people care less about details, which makes them less persuasive and prone to errors.
Happy people are more likely to recall false facts because they are focused on the bigger picture which lacks important details.

Joyful people might be greater managers, where they are accountable for executing a company strategy, whereas a less happy person could make a great head of quality management, where details are the most critical component.

If you think you’ll just “fake it until you make it” in the workplace, then you would be wrong.

According to the founder of the Emotion Machine, the “emotional labor”, it takes to pretend to be in a good mood can actually be very taxing on your physical and mental well-being, and thereby backfire on our overall happiness. The research reiterates what we previously discussed:

Another meta-analysis of over 3 decades of research found that faking positive feelings at work was associated with lower employee satisfaction and increased job burnout.

A third study published in Anxiety, Stress, and Coping found that volunteers at a call center who were told to “hide negative emotions” had greater increases in blood pressure and heart rate than those told to show their true feelings.

A recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology has found that hiding the “real you” at work can hurt motivation and productivity.
It’s not all doom and gloom.

There are a few ways both employees and employers can help balance the happy quotient.

Companies should aspire to create environments that support cultures where employee’s feel they can express themselves freely while being responsible and productive. This opportunity allows for that emotional release (both good and bad) to be aired out and addressed in real time. In the end, if you (the employee) isn’t happy at your current company or in your current role, then consider looking for something else.

Final thoughts: Grant yourself permission to feel less than positive from time to time. Embrace the negative emotions you have as they are critical to balancing the positive ones. Being ridiculously happy all the time is both unrealistic and rarely sustainable. You aren’t going to be Matthieu Ricard, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

The Floor Is Yours: Are you too happy or just too ehh? Take this quiz

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

8 SIGNS SOMEONE LACKS LEADERSHIP

8 SIGNS SOMEONE LACKS LEADERSHIP

How can one determine if an individual has what it takes for leadership?

There is a myriad of diagnostic tests, profiles, evaluations, and assessments that offer insights into leadership ability, or a lack thereof. The challenge with many of these tools is that are overly analytical, very theoretical, and subject to bias as they put people in colors, codes, boxes, dimensions or simply tagged. The draw to these avenues is quite clear; they are fast and relatively inexpensive. I have nothing against this tactic. I have used many of the assessments.

The easier method for determining if someone is capable of leading is actually quite simple: give him or her some responsibility and see what he or she does with it.

Individuals who are people leaders or leaders of a project will ultimately produce results. One can only hope that the results are positive ones but even so, the key here is learning as to what the individual is or isn’t capable of accomplishing.

Just because someone is in a leadership position, doesn’t necessarily mean they should be. The key is to spot the ineffective leaders so you can course correct as soon as possible. Here are 8 things to take notice.

Lacks Character:

A leader who lacks character or integrity will not last over time. It doesn’t matter how intelligent, persuasive, or charismatic a person is, if they are prone to rationalizing unethical behavior or looking the other way, they will eventually fall prey to their own undoing. Modeling this behavior is toxic.

Lacks Performance:

Leaders are expected to fulfill certain measures. While past performance is not always a certain indicator of future events but is something that should not be overlooked. Someone who has consistently experienced success in leadership roles has a much better chance of success than someone who has not. It’s important to remember unproven leaders come with a high-risk premium but that doesn’t mean they should be counted out. In fact, it may mean they will require more resources in supporting their development.

Lacks Communication Skills:

Great leaders can communicate effectively across mediums, constituencies, and environments. They are active listeners, fluid thinkers, and know when to dial it up, down, or off. Remember that this IS a skill to be honed and developed over time. In fact, many of the most memorable speeches by key leaders had many hours of practice and many people supporting the delivery of their presentation.

Lacks Humility:

A selfless leader is a powerful leader and one who empowers their team and people around them. There is no room for the arrogance of an inflated sense of self. If a leader doesn’t understand the concept of “service above self” they will not build the trust, confidence, and loyalty of those they lead. Simply put; if a leader receives a vote of non-confidence from their people…game over. Situational Leadership is an excellent model to support leaders who are seeking growth and development in this area.

Lacks Flexibility:

Great leaders are fluid and flexible in their approach. They recognize that leading is not a “one size fits all” approach and that to be successful, they must recognize both the temperature of their people as well as the norms of the culture in which they work. “My way or the highway” leadership styles don’t play well in today’s world, and typically produced the opposite results intended.

Lacks Vision:

No vision equals no leadership. Leaders must design the vision. The best leaders focus on leading change and innovation to keep their organizations relevant and thriving while empowering their people and gaining their votes. Leaders who cannot provide direction are spotted quickly. The giveaway is both their inability to communicate their vision as well as the immediate team of supporters they associate with. Communication is a skill that can be worked on over time. However, the vision is conceptualized by the leader in charge. It should be clear enough to ensure a healthy conversation to crystallize the message.

Lacks Commitment:

Leaders fully commit to investing in those they lead. This looks likes supporting their team, mentoring and coaching their team, and they truly care for their team which is visible by their people. A leader not fully invested in their team won’t have a team and will find themselves leading an army of one…themselves.

Lacks Accountability:

Real leaders are accountable both in their actions and non-actions. They don’t blame others, don’t claim credit for the success of their team, and always accept responsibility for failures that occur on their watch. There isn’t too much grey area here. Successful leaders are accountable to their team. Bottom line – leaders must be accountable to their people. If not, their people will hold them accountable.

Find my suggested reading to overcome bad leadership here:


Finding, grooming, electing or choosing leaders or people for leadership roles is not an exact science and even with all the tools that exist – sometimes it comes down to more basic observation than online assessment. You want to make sure that your leaders are honest, have a demonstrated track record of success, well-spoken, committed to serving those they lead, be fluid in approach, possess focus, and have won the trust of the people they are leading.

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

 

9-SIGNS-YOUR-MANAGER-LACKS-EMOTIONAL-INTELLIGENCE

Your Manager Lacks Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence has become a popular topic in the field of psychological research. It’s especially popular in leadership development.

Research about the way today’s workforce interacts is a growing field. And EQ is also a critical component for one’s wellbeing.

But developing your EI is important if you want to have a successful career.

Many experts believe emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) may be more important than IQ . It’s certainly a better predictor of success, quality of relationships, and happiness.

In fact, according to a report from the Robert H. Smith School of Business from the University of Maryland:

“71% of hiring managers said having EQ is more important the IQ and 51% of them said that they would NOT hire someone with a high IQ but a low EQ”

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Let’s break it down so it’s easy to understand.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify your own emotions and the emotions of those around you.

It is generally said to include these 5 dimensions:

  1. Self-Awareness: Recognize and understand our emotions and reactions.
  2. Self-Management: Manage, control, and adapt our emotions, mood, reactions, and responses.
  3. Motivation: Harness our emotions to motivate ourselves to take action, commit, follow-through, and work toward our goals.
  4. Empathy: Discern the feelings of others, understand their emotions and utilize that understanding to relate to others more effectively.
  5. Social Skills: Build relationships, relate to others, lead, negotiate conflict, and work as part of a team.

Critical areas in which Emotional Intelligence can support you:

  • Physical Health – The ability to take care of our bodies and to manage our stress. This has an incredible impact on our overall wellness. It’s heavily tied to our emotional intelligence.
  • Conflict Resolution – When we can discern people’s emotions and empathize with them, it’s much easier to resolve conflicts. It will probably even help you avoid them before they start. We are also better at negotiation due to our ability to understand the needs and desires of others. It’s easier to give people what they want if we can perceive what it is.
  • Mental Well-Being – EI affects our attitude and outlook on life. It can also alleviate anxiety and help you avoid depression and mood swings. A high level of EI directly correlates to a positive outlook on life.
  • Relationships – By better understanding and managing our emotions, we are better able to communicate our feelings in a constructive way. We are also better able to relate to those with whom we are in relationships. Understanding the needs, feelings, and responses of those we care about leads to more fulfilling relationships.
  • Success – Higher EI helps us to be stronger internal motivators. As a result, we can reduce procrastination, increase self-confidence, and improve our ability to focus on a goal. It also allows us to create better support systems and persevere with a more positive outlook.
  • Leadership – The ability to understand what motivates others to relate in a positive manner. Also, to build stronger bonds in the workplace inevitably makes those with higher emotional intelligence better leaders. An effective leader can recognize the needs of his people. Then, know how to meet them in a way that encourages high performance.

For resources on growing workplace EQ:


Lastly, here are 9 signs your manager may lack emotional intelligence:

  1. Unable to control their emotions.

    Emotionally intelligent people are able to regulate. Therefore having control of their emotions. If your manager is prone to lashing out in anger they likely lack EQ.

  2. Clueless about your feelings.
    The ability to read others’ nonverbal emotional cues, such as facial expressions, is a critical part of EQ. If your manager can’t read your obvious displeasure, they probably have problems making emotional connections.
  3. Can’t maintain friendships.
    High-EQ individuals have strong networks of friends and acquaintances. If your manager is unable to maintain good relationships with colleagues, this is an indicator of low EQ.
  4. Always has a “poker face.”
    While reading others’ emotions is important for EQ, so is the ability to express your own. If you can never tell what your manager is really feeling, it’s likely they’re missing this element of EI.
  5. Is emotionally inappropriate.
    Making bad or inappropriate jokes. Getting angry over nothing. Not realizing that he/she is angering someone. These are signs that your manager doesn’t understand the social workings of emotions and emotional expression. And this understanding is another important aspect of EQ.
  6. Can’t cope with sadness.
    An inability to manage others’ emotions indicates a lack of emotional intelligence. Low-EQ individuals have particular difficulty in reacting to others’ negative emotions.
  7. Is emotionally “tone deaf.”
    We communicate a great deal of emotion through tone of voice. If your manager can’t sense your irritation, it may be an indicator that he or she is not skilled at detecting emotions.
  8. Can’t really be sympathetic.
    Empathy and sympathy involve recognizing others’ emotional states and reflecting back appropriate emotional concern. This is a complex skill that suggests high levels of emotional intelligence.
  9. Has no volume control.

    Of course, we’re talking about emotional volume here. Too-loud emotional reactions suggest difficulty in controlling emotions.

Final Thoughts:

Emotional intelligence is still not completely understood. In fact, it’s still being researched even as I write this. However, what we do know is that emotions play a critical role in the quality of our lives. It’s probably even more critical than our actual measure of brain intelligence.

Tools and technology can help us learn information. But nothing can replace our ability to learn, manage, and master our emotions and the emotions of those around us.

If you are now wondering how your EI level stacks up, there are a few places online to take a free emotional intelligence assessment.

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).