Moods are the Stage for all Conversation

“Raoul is very up-beat.”

“Suze is depressed.”

“An optimist sees a glass half-full, a pessimist sees it half-empty.”

These assessments are about Mood, the stage for all conversation.  Suppose you want your business development team to meet to come up with new approaches to building position in a new market.  But last week, the BusDev team and Sales lost a long-fought competition for what would have been the Company’s biggest win and key reference to date.  And two weeks ago, the well-liked VP of BusDev announced her departure, which has given rise to uncertainty and squabbling in the department and through the Company.   The meeting happened, but magic didn’t.   It wasn’t just due to overwork or the agony of defeat.  Your team is experienced and they’ve dealt with adversity before.

The magic stayed away from the party because the team’s mood blocked their conversation for new possibilities.  Designing new possibilities requires a positive mood like Ambition.  Without a conducive mood, the team’s time was wasted at the meeting, and the poor meeting might have even worsened the prevailing negative mood.

Dr. Fernando Flores, who greatly advanced the conversation about human life as linguistic beings, says that moods are assessments of the future.  If I am Ambitious, I embody two key assessments 1) that I like what’s happening and 2) I believe I can do something about it.  Ambition supports our desire to design new possibilities and actions for the future.  Conversely, if I am in a mood of Resignation, I embody the assessments 1) that I do not like what is happening, and 2) I do not believe there is anything I can do about it.  If I bring Resignation into a conversation to design new possibilities with someone, I am going to extinguish any sense of play and openness that can help bring forth new possibilities.

As important as Mood is in enabling and disabling effective conversation, many of us accept our own moods, the moods of others and our teams as givens and attempt to soldier on around them.  Hey, Wait! Moods are not permanent, and they don’t have to spill over from one domain to another!  We do not need to have a mood of Resignation or even Acceptance about moods!  Our assessments of the future are not sealed; they can be open to further conversation.  If we agree that our assessments about the future can be re-evaluated and changed, we can be open to designing our own and others’ moods to better help us address our mutual concerns.  You can always choose to be an active designer of your future.

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Strategic Venture Consulting’s Conversation Driven Business(TM) can help you design mood for yourself and others to support conversations that take care of our concerns.

(c) 2013 Strategic Venture Consulting / Robert Kimball all rights reserved.

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