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about 4 years ago by Linda Davis
Understanding Emotional Contagion in Leadership
Emotional contagion in leadership can spread faster than an internet meme. As a leader, are your emotions impacting on your business?
Unlike cognitive behaviour, emotions struggle to be left at the office door and because employees are very aware of their leaders’ emotions, leaders can strongly impact the mood of an employee. When employees are ‘infected’ by the moods of others, particularly their leaders, it impacts on everything around them in the workforce. Emotional contagion in leadership can spread across a team like a virus.
MOODS: GOOD OR BAD?
Emotional contagion can impact in both the positive and negative. The key to understanding emotional contagion in leadership is to firstly understand yourself as a leader. It is hugely important to train yourself to be aware of your mood, and to put a focus on moving your mindset from negative to positive. We all have the power to train ourselves to manage our emotional suite to ensure that we deliberately lift our own spirits before interacting with the group.
HARNESS THE POWER OF YOUR EMOTIONS…
It is very important that your leadership is aware of the inherent power associated with positive and negative emotions and the overall impact it can have on a culture. Positive emotions can harness energy in a team which engages employees on a completely different level, and gets the most out of them.
…AND YOU’LL HARNESS THE POWER OF YOUR TEAM
What can you do to open communication with your employees, involve them in strategy and bring them in on the future vision for the division/company? It is vital to drive a healthy mindset when driving and motiving teams.
Some suggestions to help harness the emotional power of your team:
Consider the benefits of driving a collaborative culture, an open culture where individuality is key, and trust, openness and candour are all encompassing
Look for the team to be innovative in their role to achieve their goals
Give your employees a voice, allow them to speak up
Engage your employees to participate in defining benchmarks for success and be sure to celebrate success
It is your role as a leader to work on and manage your own emotions; you need to master your communication to drive a positive communication style
Understand that emotional contagion continues after employees leave work
LEADERSHIP BEGINS WITH YOURSELF
Some suggestions to help harness your own emotional power:
Use work that inspires and encourages
Be very clear on what you want to achieve
See all aspects of a situation positive and negative and practice adopting the positive
Always be open to hearing from others, you can learn a lot
Take negative language out of your dictionary; no, can’t