Emotions are contagious.
Think about a recent win you had at work. Perhaps it was landing a new contract or having your department pass its compliance audit. Hopefully you had a celebration and with it you saw a sea of smiles and high fives.
What about a recent failure? Maybe you missed your budget numbers or a client decided to go with another firm. Hopefully you had a post-hoc analysis with your team and you could not have missed the disappointed and perhaps sullen mood among your team members.
These emotional responses aren’t just from the events themselves but are also a function of how people respond to each other. These kinds of positive and negative emotions happen every day in the workplace and how we all respond to them is what determines whether we’ll be resilient with wins and losses.
Paying attention to how emotional responses play out in your workplace provides an important advantage in whether the emotional contagion works for you or against you. Even more importantly is to recognize that while difficulties and challenges happen at work, maintaining a “realistic optimism” about the possibilities for the future will help mitigate “toxic emotions” and grow “can do” emotions.
Pay attention this week to how emotions impact your workplace for good and bad and whether or not you see a contagion occur. Plant seeds with your team about positive emotions and see whether you can get that healthy virus to grow.
© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2018