"Emotions are Contagious. Your Mood Matters."
At the Simmons Leadership Conference a week or so ago I heard Annie McKee, author of "Becoming a Resonant Leader" speak. Wow. (See her, and read her books, if you ever get a chance.)
In her presentation, she mentioned that it was recently discovered that we have in our brains, "Mirror Neurons." (According to Wikipedia, "Some scientists consider mirror neurons one of the most important findings of neuroscience in the last decade.") These neurons offer evidence that we're physiologically tuned to pick up others emotions. Further, she said, certain emotions will shut down idea generation and creativity, and others will attract it.
An angry boss stomping toward your office will put you on high alert, for example. When this happens, you will get in "lock down," or safety mode. Idea generation and creativity shut down. (An animal survival mechanism.)
On the flip side, when emotions such as hope, joy, compassion and excitement are exhibited, you are in an environment ripe for idea generation and innovation.
So how does this relate to Employment Branding and Culture Building?
Ask yourself what others might be mirroring in your environment. Are you creating environments where you could get two-times the goodness? Or two-times the bad?
See this post written by EMC's Dave Spencer today to get a real-time case study on a positive mirror effect and how this relates to building culture. -- There is a ripple effect when a person says "yes," and when s/he experiences positive energy. --
Mirror Neurons bring the Gandhi quote to life, "Be the Change You Wish to See."
Following is my tweet stream capturing take aways from this Annie McKee presentation if you're in the mood for more.
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What do you think?
Can you see how a positive culture, tone, program, or person could be contagious?
Can you see how it doesn't have to cost any money?
I was at an event over the weekend with a family friend in the banking industry. He shared how poorly his company handled the tough subjects of pay cuts and layoffs. Clearly, these are terrible subjects. Then, I considered how well EMC handled the same subjects a couple weeks ago. Sure no one liked the news of sacrifices, but we understood it. The company started with listening and when the time came to share the bad news, it led with empathy and the desire to save jobs and keep the family in-tact. The employee response? Applause.
Here are other case study blogs on the power of these mirror neurons on culture building -- and how anyone and everyone in a company can add to the culture by taking the time to share the positive: Information Playground, "I'm Engaged!," "Confessions of an eBiz Junkie: Culture is Cool at EMC."
Other *free* options for culture building are listed in Annie's comments: "listening, caring and helping."