Have you ever been around a person who is always positive, always smiling? When you interact with someone who’s in a good mood, a leader or otherwise, it’s contagious. Emotions are shared thru verbal and non-verbal communication. Being engaged with someone in a good mood will cause you to subconsciously begin to copy their body language, their tone of voice and facial expressions. Once you start mimicking these behaviors physically, you will actually begin to feel those positive emotions. Research indicates that when you smile, it elevates your mood and those around you.
Sigal Barsade, Ph.D., a psychologist at Yale, conducted a study to research this concept. A group of volunteers were assigned a task. Privately, Dr. Barsade instructed one group member to act overtly positive. She then recorded the interactions of the group members and tracked the emotions of each individual before and after each session. What she found was that when the positive person entered the room, his cheerful mood was mimicked by the rest of the group almost immediately. In addition, individual performance increased and the group’s ability to achieve its goal also improved.
Looking for greater success? The next time you walk into a meeting, take a look in the mirror to see what your face is saying. A simple smile could transform you and those around you.