Have you ever noticed when you interact with people for a period of time, that their emotions have an effect on you? Well, psychologist’s research has proven just that; our emotions are contagious!
As we know, our emotions are revealed to others through our verbal and non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, posture, words and tone of voice. So for example; think of a crowd at a rock concert, or think of a funeral – as soon as you walk into the concert hall or the funeral parlour you can “feel” or sense the mood or emotions in the atmosphere.
If you are responsible for others as a leader (at any level) your emotions are of even greater importance to those around you and can have a major effect on them.
From a business perspective: think back on the last time you walked into a company, a boardroom or an office meeting; what emotions were you projecting?
The moment we interact with another person or persons, we project our feelings outwardly towards them, and these people in return are recognizing or perceiving those feelings. Those emotions (positive or negative) can have an impact on the behavior of others which can last for a moment, an hour or even indeterminately.
Let’s say you are in a business meeting with a number of your employee’s. If you are calm and composed, then those around you are inclined to feel calm and composed as well; they are able to think clearly, are more creative, can make better decisions, and can be more cooperative.
Now think about the impact you could have on those same employee’s if you are feeling negative emotions such as frustration, annoyance or anger. People sense something is wrong and for some it puts them on the “defensive”, they become more cautious, possibly shut down and hesitant to speak up or respond to your questions, thoughts or ideas for fear of retribution or appearing ignorant.
Psychologists have shown that our thinking can be managed or changed to help serve us better; that we have the ability to re-program our own brain. So if we are able to learn how to change the way we think then we can change limiting beliefs, or behaviours that are not helpful to us, and we can do this by increasing our levels of Emotional Intelligence.
Research has proven that our brain will trigger us to experience the same reaction to a recurring incident each and every time as if it were the first time. That’s what psychologists refer to as being “programmed” (when brain neurons fire together they are wired together). Ongoing discoveries are being made every day with regards to neuroplasticity or neuroscience. An insightful and interesting book on that subject is “Buddha’s Brain” as it speaks to us in laymen terms about the actual process our thoughts, mind and brain go through; the mechanics of our brain. It proves that when our mind changes, our brain changes too. It was researched and written by Rick Hanson PH.D. Neuropsychologist and Richard Mendius MD Neurologist.
So the saying “I was just made this way” no longer means I have to stay this way! We have the power to change our own “programming” our own behaviour.
“Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts.
If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do.” ~ Napoleon Hill