We've all had those days when we wake up feeling less than enthusiastic about going to work. Maybe it's the Monday blues or personal concerns weighing you down. It happens to everyone from time to time. However, have you ever stopped to consider how your mood at work may influence your manager's perception of your performance? It's something to consider as managers tend to attribute greater performance to employees who exude positivity and happiness, while assuming lower performance from those who don't exhibit such overtly positive body language and facial expressions.
But is this perception always accurate? And what can professionals do to address this issue without having to fake happiness? Let’s explore what you can do to control the narrative of your performance, without having to fake-happiness every day.
It's no secret that managers, like everyone else, are susceptible to perception bias. Human beings naturally gravitate toward positive emotions and behaviors. Consequently, managers often associate positive attitudes with high performance and view individuals who display such positivity as more competent and engaged. On the other hand, employees who don't explicitly exhibit positive body language and facial expressions may be perceived as less competent or disengaged, regardless of their actual performance.
Debunking the Myth
It's crucial to recognize that your emotional state doesn't always reflect your true abilities or dedication to your work. You know that even though you may not be always be outwardly enthusiastic, you are still a highly productive, skilled, and committed employee. The key lies in challenging potentially biased perceptions and focusing on objective measures of performance. Reference your impact and productivity at work using objective, measurable guides when speaking about your day or work with your manager. Managers sometimes need to be reminded that true performance is based on concrete deliverables, quality of work, and overall outcomes, rather than subjective interpretations of a person's mood.
Addressing the Issue Strategically
As professionals, it's important to find ways to address this perception bias without compromising your authenticity or faking happiness. Here are some strategies to consider:
While it's unfortunate that managers may rely on mood to evaluate performance (consciously or unconsciously), it's important to challenge this bias and shift the focus to objective measures of productivity and outcomes. By cultivating open communication, showcasing results, seeking feedback, building relationships, and practicing emotional self-care, you can navigate the workplace without having to fake happiness while still being recognized for your true capabilities. Remember, it's not just about being happy at work; it's about being competent, dedicated, and delivering exceptional results.