Emotion can be experienced through a Zoom session. In fact, the happier the presenter the happier the audience. This is according to a recent MIT Study which reviewed the emotions of the presenter and audience response. The audience will tap into the emotions you put forth on the call. I noticed that as a presenter I can struggle to bring the energy because I do not get to tap into the emotion of the group.
There is actually a theory in leadership called ’emotional contagion theory’ – this is defined as the tendency to mimic and synchronize facial expressions, vocalizations, postures and movements with those of another person and consequently to CONVERGE emotionally.”
You have probably noticed teams in the workplace synchronizing to the leader. I wonder how this appears in the Zoom environment. Although, emotions and body language may be more difficult to pick up, no doubt some emotions exist within the remote experience.
Consider three ways to apply the concept of Emotional Contagion to the workplace –
Leading Self- You may be highly susceptible to the emotions of others. Know the situations that could bring you into an emotional state and away from being present. If you are unsure of whether or not you are highly susceptible to others consider asking for feedback. Also, there is a scale called “Emotional Contagion Scale” which was created to help identify how susceptible we are at catching emotions. The core emotions of joy, happiness, love, fear, anxiety, anger, sadness and depression.
Leading Others: You may be an emotional person. We all are – do not judge yourself for displaying positive energy or sometimes negative emotions. It starts with knowing what emotions you are demonstrate in all your interactions with clients and employees. Know that they are likely to ‘catch’ whatever feelings you bring to the table, which is why we must gain skill at executive presence.
Leading The Business: As you develop strategy and make decisions, it is critical to take the emotions out of it and move forward. Use your gut on those low impact decisions and use a process for the decisions that have a high impact.
Whether you are on a Zoom or in person, your emotions impact the group. You do not have to be the leader of the meeting to pass on the emotions you are feeling. At the same time, leaders you set the tone in your office. What tone are you setting?