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Contagion at Work

16th Dec, 2011

Emotions are contagious at work‘Contagion’ isn’t a word that I typically use in my day to day vocabulary.  Yet, in the past two months, as the Euro Crisis has evolved from a local difficulty on the extremities of Europe to a full-blown crisis at its very heart, ‘Contagion’ seems to be THE word on all the financial commentators’ lips.  Then Hollywood decided to mark the start of the annual flu season with its blockbuster movie called …. Contagion!  The film depicts how a virus can spread worldwide and infect large number of the global population in weeks.  It also highlights the power of social media in creating and spreading ‘news’ almost instantaneously.

All this got me thinking about contagion at work.  Research has shown that emotions are contagious as well.  Our emotions affect other workers and the people with whom we interface – clients, suppliers etc.

Therefore it does matter how you ‘show up’ at work, especially if you are the leader of a group. You set the tone for your area, the mood for the day especially in challenging times.  Equally those claiming that cynicism or negativity don’t cause any harm may well be mistaken as through contagion their negative emotions are spread.

So, in a way we’re all contagious!  What emotions are you spreading today?

Food for thought?