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How to PACE yourself and what does it mean?

The key to mood management is Latimer’s PACE Method, which stands for “pause, ask, care, engage.”

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How to PACE yourself and what does it mean?

Why managing the mood in your workplace is vital for a positive office atmosphere—and your own professional development.

Remember the last time a case of the midwinter blues threatened to spoil all of your office interactions? When you’re in human stormcloud mode, it can be difficult to put your sour mood aside and be a positive member of the workplace.

That said, stewing all day will make the next eight hours a slog and may damage your carefully maintained reputation for professionalism. So, don’t let your broken alarm clock, stained shirt, or recent argument throw off your entire day. Instead, take a step back, breathe, and put things into perspective.

PACE Yourself

Of course, I’m not expecting you to “un-mood” yourself all on your own. That’s where a TED Talk from Deri Latimer, an author, speaker, and consultant on positive work environments, comes in.

The key to mood management is Latimer’s PACE Method, which stands for “pause, ask, care, engage.” The method is quite simple. After recognizing your foul mood, Latimer recommends pausing and establishing some rational distance from your emotions. After a moment, ask yourself simply—what’s going on? Rather than judging your answer critically, show compassion for yourself and acceptance of your feelings. Finally, and most importantly, veer away from self-isolation and speak with a trusted friend or coworker to help parse whatever you may be going through. While this four-step method is easy to remember, it takes self-control and resilience to carry it out rather than simply wallowing in your bad mood.

The importance of mood management

Latimer’s TED Talk does more than introduce a simple instructional tool for mood reflection. An expert in workplace positivity, Latimer recognizes the importance of a workplace that puts a premium on mental health and well-being. As former CEO of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington asserts, “There is no company whose bottom line will not be enhanced by healthier, happier, less-stressed, well-slept, centered employees.”

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Unfortunately, as Latimer’s talk reveals, the situation for most modern workplaces is pretty dire: one in five employees is experiencing some type of mental health crisis at any given time. When work stress and burnout are added to the equation, the statistic inches closer to one in three. More and more CEOs like Huffington recognize the “myth that prioritizing health and wellbeing is incompatible with a healthy bottom line,” and consequently are introducing mental health and wellness programs for their employees. The result of increased wellness? As Huffington remarks, centering practices like meditation and yoga actually make people better at their jobs, and help us keep stress in perspective by “mak[ing] us aware that our jobs don’t define the totality of who we are.”

In her talk, Latimer applauds companies that breathe life into the workplace by introducing these programs for employee wellness and satisfaction. That said, while corporate amenities make the workplace atmosphere more relaxed, nothing can take the place of proper mood management and a positive approach to work. Since bad moods are known to spread like viruses, managing your own mood may help in maintaining the entire company’s morale. So the next time you’ve got a case of the Mondays, remember to take a step back and breathe deep—your colleagues will thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Ken is the Senior Vice President and Chief Learning Officer at BigSpeak. Ken's main focus is marketing and partnering with Fortune 1000 clients to create specialized consulting programs with effective leadership development objectives. Ken is also responsible for BigTechnology, an initiative to develop best-of-breed learning management systems for BigSpeak's clients. Ken's background includes working with KPMG as a technology and management consultant, co-founding a technology company (cloud computing), co-founding an international, vertically integrated manufacturing company and working as Executive Vice President at a boutique asset management firm charged with operating real estate and hospitality assets. Ken holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from the University of California, an M.B.A. from Babson College and earned his B.A. in Communication and Applied Psychology from the University of California.

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