Attitude is Infectious

June 2, 2011

A positive feeling about the day, work, your boss, the company can spread faster than a virus living in today's germ invested world.  When a thought enters the brain it has to be processed.  For that to happen it must travel to the front of the brain - to the neocortex (the home of logical processing).  However before the thought arrives in the neocortex, it must pass through the amygdala area - the home of emotions and feelings.  This is why an event or activity hijacks us.  When we see a picture of a puppy our amygdala brain area grabs this image and keeps it from going to the logical part of our brain, so we have warm fuzzy feelings; rather thinking this puppy will become a dog that I will have to feed, clean up after, walk twice a day and pay large vet bills for, we say I want that puppy, its soooo cute.

Those same warm thoughts can affect us a work.  If you are in constant contact with a person who has a great attitude, that feeling enters our amygdala brain and helps us adopt that feeling.  In an experiment branch managers were asked to keep their office doors close and stay in their offices for an entire day as if they were in confidential meetings.  Given this office was otherwise an "open-door" culture, this closed door behavior was unusual.  The result, sales were down in that office for the day by 25%.  The sales team stopped calling on their clients and worried about what was happening in the office - they spent more time talking to each other, wondering if their jobs were safe.

Studies have shown that emotional energy is four times more powerful than rational energy.  Leaders who understand the power of emotion and are able to harness it can help their teams achieve incredible goals.  

Be positive and others will emulate you.  Show the way and others will gladly follow.














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