Edited by Jill Wright,
I can imagine that there will be a lot more happy faces in Melbourne management circles in the next few weeks, as leaders and would-be leaders digest the message of an article in The Age by Sylvia Pennington that suggests "If you want to be a successful leader, you're going to need to stick on a happy face."
The article seems to be based largely on the advice of British academic and leadership consultant, Professor Andrew St George - the influence behind a training manual for the Royal Navy - who declares that "No one follows a pessimist or someone who is gloomy all the time."
He warns that a bleak boss can attract distracting and unsettling gossip, making staff uncertain and insecure.
But Gavin Sharp, who is a member of Psychology Melbourne's team of business psychologists, warns in the article that there is a distinct difference between being upbeat and realistic, and inappropriate chirpiness can also be poorly received.
"Staff do appreciate honesty," Gavin advises. "If you're delivering bad news, do this in a manner that is consistent with the news but in a way that displays a way forward for the business.
"A constant upbeat attitude will soon wear thin. Be positive and optimistic, but read the room."