How to Shift Emotions for Optimal Team Performance

gute Laune setzt sich durch

If creativity is ground rule one, shifting emotions at their source is number two. 

But, how to do it?

In this section, we will cover a few things you can do to build optimal emotions amongst your team in order to boost drive. What it comes down to is really finding a way to motivate people at a deeper level. You can shift into these positive, heartfelt emotions by knowing some of the techniques that make it that much easier.

There are 5 different ways to accomplish it:

Welcome laughter and play to boost energy

An easy way to move emotions into the more positive realm is to bring real joy back into the workplace. And what better way to do so than by tapping into the things we enjoy doing, and our natural responses to those things.

Vigorous play and joyous laughter can quickly revitalize energy and create more vigor for work in the whole team. Rather than waiting until a team reaches burnout to pep them back up, primal leaders incorporate play and laughter into their daily leadership practices.

Do you ever do anything that has the power to rapidly turn your emotions around? Can you think of a way to apply this to others?

In our next blog we will discuss two additional ways which are quite helpful for the purpose of shifting emotions at the workplace.

Written by Jonathan Mansilla

If you’d like to take your team to the next level, Request a Demo Now


Being Positive Is Not Always Healthy

explosion of anger

We had mentioned in a previous blog that the practices of most teams contradict basic human nature. They deny individual team members’ emotional needs and disregard the fundamental wiring of their brains.

Therefore, it is better to build teams that nurture the human spirit and thereby spark the sharpness and creativity that lead to unprecedented levels of performance.

In order to spark Creativity we have to literally defy the myths of modern business. There are basically 5 myths of which we will discuss the first one:

Myth #1 – Always Be Positive

Business environments are often rife with stress and anxiety. Most team members think they need to look cool, calm, and collected, even in the most trying situations. However, facial expressions, body language, and other physiological signals reveal negative emotions, no matter how hard a team mate tries to hide them. When others see those signals insufficiently masked by feigned positivity, they lose a bit of trust in the authenticity of their team mate.

Reality: Expressing negative emotion is beneficial

People can learn to express negative emotion in ways that help them process and work through the negativity. This keeps them engaged and can spark the entire team from lifelessness to alertness. It also helps engender trust on the team.

Action: Let people express their true emotions. Channel this energy in ways that help rather than hinder the team.

Written by Jonathan Mansilla

If you’d like to take your team to the next level, Request a Demo Now

Maximize Team Engagement By Playing

Business People Fun Playing Beach Travel Concept 

Start organizing work in creative cycles

Just as the movie industry has phases: choosing actors and building the set, followed by shooting, editing, and so on;so too should the way you work.

This “project style” system of accomplishing a task makes things more interesting and allows people to switch things up so they don’t get bored. They’re not simply doing one thing the whole time.

This is yet another great way to keep things fresh as members of a group or team don’t have time to get bored.

Get real about play time

Playing for the fun of it is a good way to reduce stress. It also keeps people feeling positive and alert, “It fuels the seeking system ensuring keen motivation and emotional resilience.”

But, it’s not just any type of play. It’s about the type of play that doesn’t leave you feeling exhausted. The play that energizes and doesn’t sap your energy. And, most importantly, it’s not about winning. In fact, the most competitive players can actually do more harm than good. It’s pretty important to get everyone to realize that it’s not about winning but about having fun.

“The most effective type of play involves physical repetitive actions with certain variations, such as throwing or batting, that challenge us enough to attract and hold our interest but that do not overly tax our minds and bodies, as training for a marathon does. Ideal play should enhance rather than sap our energy. Contrary to the old cliche, winning is not everything. The mere act of playing the game for the sheer fun of it, without excessive pressure to win, is everything.”

Also, be careful about turning work into play. For example by giving a team member a day off because they were the first to do something. This can have the opposite effect as there are clear winners and losers.

Gamification techniques also rarely qualify as play – awarding points or badges for problems solved or new ideas.

“Even though optimal play does involve multiple players it should not prompt competition for rewards, achievement or status. For optimal play to work its magic, the strongest players should willingly handicap themselves to make sure everyone can enjoy playing on a level field. When the strongest players don’t exhibit this kind of reciprocity, the fun drains out of the game for the other players.”

The best thing to do is to keep things casual; don’t create too much structure, be spontaneous and remember that “playing” is as important to adults as it is to children.

Watch the Video Summary Here

Written by Jonathan Mansilla

If you’d like to take your team to the next level, Request a Demo Now

Using the Chase to Motivate Your Team


Business race. Business people are crossing red finish tape

Remember, it seriously is all about the chase

When it comes down to happiness and energy, don’t think you have to provide a constant slew of rewards for a job well done. Sometimes, the real reward really is in the journey.

We get a bigger thrill from the chase than from the capture. The very act of chasing, seeking, or pursuing the wild boar motivates us much more powerfully than cooking and eating it.

You get a thrill out of pursuing or seeking a goal, but once you achieve it, it doesn’t seem so attractive. What does this mean for the team leader? First, you should bear in mind the extreme pleasure people derive from activating their seeking emotional system

when a stimulus arouses our seeking system, it activates our frontal neocortex, prompting us to work out innovative strategies and solutions.

What does this mean for you as a team leader? It’s an easier solution than you might think. It means use novelty to motivate.

It also means it’s about new chases!

Now this is the cool part: when a stimulus arouses our seeking system, it activates our frontal neocortex, prompting us to work out innovative strategies and solutions. Logic doesn’t make us do that; emotions do. The brain’s neocortex, the source of our human analytical intellect, serves our emotions, not vice versa. A team that embarks on an exciting new journey not only feels strongly motivated to succeed but also works smarter. When our seeking system comes to the party, we feel as though we can accomplish anything. Negativity evaporates; fear takes a vacation. We feel confident we can conquer the world.

A fairly easy way to create novelty within your team is to switch up their responsibilities.

If I took charge of a team working at a warehouse, I’d try to keep people fresh by periodically shifting their responsibilities. I’d transfer Jeff from driving a forklift to running the shipping/receiving desk and move shipment expediter Martin into that slot. The change of scenery and routine will spark a little more energy. Yes, each much learn a new role, but learning itself fulfills the appetite for seeking novelty, and the extra enthusiasm sparked by doing something new should more than make up for any loss of productivity caused by traveling the learning curve and getting up to speed in a new job.

Another thing you can do is give people opportunities to get involved in improving company processes. This is a good idea if you don’t feel like there’s a huge amount of variation in roles and it still gives them an opportunity to do new and different work.

Written by Jonathan Mansilla

If you’d like to take your team to the next level, Request a Demo Now