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Which “You” is Going to Show Up?

The most recent employee engagement poll from The Gallup Organization indicates that employee engagement hasn’t changed much. According to the poll, only 30 percent of employees are engaged. That’s right … line up 10 of your employees, and 7 of them are at some level of disengagement.

As many of you have heard (and as I address in my book Engaged Leadership), there are many valid reasons for a lack of engagement. Employers ask employees to change and never help them understand why a change was needed. Employers don’t communicate a bigger vision so employees can figure out how their work ties into something bigger. Employers lead with negative motivation instead of giving employees something to run toward. The list goes on and on.

There is one way leaders contribute to employee disengagement that seldom makes a list of reasons. And sadly, we’re all guilty of it from time to time. It happens every time we allow our personal mood to negatively impact the people who work for/with us. Simply put, as much as we’d like to think we would never do it, we take our bad days out on those around us.

Some of us do it occasionally. We’re human … it’s going to happen. Apologize for it and move on! If it happens occasionally, most employees will understand and brush it off. My bigger concern is for those leaders who are known for impacting the engagement of others because of their inability to control their mood on a very regular basis. They see the negative in every situation and allow life’s challenges to determine their day. Ultimately, their mood determines the day for those around them.

Our inability to control our mood contributes to employee disengagement because employees and co-workers don’t know which version of us is going to show up to work each day. Is it going to be the happy version because you had a great morning or got great news that has put you on cloud nine, or is it going to be the grumpy version because you had a lousy morning or got bad news that put you in the dumps?

We’ve all worked for someone whose inability to control their mood determined the quality of our day, and not one of us enjoyed it. Take a look at this video and ask yourself, “Has my inability to control my mood made me like this evil little man?” Here is a video:

Clint Swindall

© Clint Swindall — Clint is the president & CEO of Verbalocity, Inc., a personal development company with a focus on leadership enhancement. For information about how he can enhance employee engagement in your organization (including an Employee Engagement Survey to determine the source of employee disengagement in your organization), please visit, or contact him directly at

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