Mood and Change Management

Social psychology, neuroscience and even ancient wisdom traditions teach us how powerfully moods and emotions can limit, or increase, what we can accomplish. Moods pretty much determine how we do our job and how well we can meet our potential. Therefore, consciously managing the mood of your working environment is one of the most important yet often overlooked tools that can help your bar team achieve a collective purpose.

Working in a mood of fear, resentment or anger can result in different outcomes compared to working in a mood filled with ambition, gratitude or pride. For example, under the spell of frustration we are more likely to give up. Anger in turn feeds our need to strike back, to seek revenge. Whereas a mood of ambition sets us up to aim higher and to “go for it”.

Even though it can be hard to measure precisely, the mood of your team effects your guest experience as well. Snappy comments to co-workers, smashing shakers into the sink or overall body language can carry on the frustrated mood to your guests and at worst, turn a lovely mojito to a diluted minty water and a request for a check.

It’s good to remember that mood and emotions are different things. Emotions are triggered by a certain event and can come and go quickly. Whereas moods are emotions we live, many times unconsciously, for a longer period of time. In other words, emotions are about something specific, such as a person or situation, but moods are much more fragmented with no identifiable object. The events you face have different meaning depending on the mood your are in. If you are already angry, a simple mistake can feel more disastrous than it actually is. Facing the same mistake while being energetic and hopeful can seem trivial and you are able to move on faster.

It’s also important to notice the difference of one’s personal mood, compared to the desirable mood agreed for the work environment. Sometimes the playful mood you have personally does not fit the serious/professional, more focused mood, that the task in hand requires (or is agreed or known to be productive).

Acknowledge all the different moods at your bar and consciously support the ones that most likely help your bar thrive. The question is, what is the desired mood for a particular moment and time so as to achieve your venues purpose? For example, feeling gratitude and sharing it with the team, can set an environment of love and care which resonates to your guests as well. The desired mood is of course different for every team and their venues purpose, so I don’t have an universal answer for you. But I highly recommend bringing this topic up with your team and simply start the conversation. Communication is the key.

You can also turn to my Storytelling post for tips on how to get your conversations started.

In Teal organizations, change is somewhat constant and happens naturally. Self-managing, living, organisms have internal drive to change when needed and are very capable of adapting to different events they face. But the change doesn’t have to be forced from outside. The biggest tree of the forest doesn’t have to tell the smallest roots to react when the winter arrives too early. Instead, the whole ecosystem reacts creatively in line with the present moment while keeping the overall purpose in mind. In comparison to Orange, machine type, organization, change can only happen if we redesign the machine and overcome the resistance the transformed blueprints bring.

Everyone in the bar team is free to act on what they sense is needed, since their hands are not tied up by a job description, by the need to report to a manager or because of stiff and slow hierarchy. As seen in other industries, companies have naturally started to shift the power from the ivory towers to the edges of the organization, where everyone is working as a sensor, responding to the real world and not iffy predictions. Let your team freely react to the unknown, non-linear and surprising life that emerges in front of them. As we all know, the only thing constant in life is change.

Simon Sinek has a great book called “The Infinite Game” explaining why we should think about businesses as players in a game that is infinite, rather than finite. He argues that leaders who embrace an infinite mindset will build stronger, more innovative, inspiring and resilient organizations. There are plenty of different Youtube videos where he explains this concept to it’s full extent, but here is one just over three minutes long where Sinek briefly explains the idea behind the infinite game theory. The theory resonates with the Teal worldview, which recognizes business to be a constantly changing and unpredictable system where the joy comes from advancement not from comparison.

If you are not familiar with them yet, my Advice Process and Decision Making posts can guide you with some decision making tools and how they help approaching the “lack” of change management in your bar.

This post represents a milestone for me and I’m enjoying feelings of gratitude, pride and achievement. I started to convert the Reinventing Organizations book and the Teal practices to suit the restaurant world in January 2020. Later, on the 23rd of May 2020 (The World Turtle Day), Mate Hospitality Instagram page saw daylight and I published my first blog post. It took me almost one year to give birth to these 26 posts and I’ve learned a lot every week. During this past year I have found more literature, support groups and movements to join that have enabled me to share even more detailed tips and frameworks for you to rely on, on your journey towards a better hospitality industry. I understand there’s still a long way to go, but now that I am and hopefully you are excited, it’s time to start the change!

Photo by Jeffry Santony

Next up!

A new “Where to start?” section is launching on this site in Autumn to get you inspired on how to improve your current workplace.

I’m also planning to share hands on tips and info nuggets on Instagram to help you get started with the Teal practices. Hopefully later on, live workshops and Tea(l) parties will be popping up and eventually, my own venue in the near future. Hit me up, ask questions, share your feedback and let me know where you’re at and if I can help in anyway.

Cheers Mates!

-Mika Ammunet / Mate Hospitality

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Mika Ammunét Written by:

Bar Manager, Future Bar Owner

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