Emotional Contagion: Baby it’s cold outside…

So it’s January – what’s that got to do with emotional contagion?


We’ve made it through the first week, hurray! But with a cold snap being forecast and blue Monday approaching, how will you stay warm? Physically and emotionally? And what can we actively do about it?


Well, we turn on the heating for our shivering muscles. We crank it up. Our cold bones get warmer; we feel better.


So what would happen if we did that with our internal radiators too? To emit warmth for others and in turn, for ourselves?

Read more

Leadership part 1 – Reading emotions: How does it work?

Would you like to start the day with a happy leadership thought?

We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone.

Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter is just one in a long string of cynics who probably needed better friends… and a hug. Personally I’m a little more optimistic about our potential for connection in leadership than espoused in the above quote.

Modern neuroscience has come a long way in understanding the functioning of our brain and, even though many mysteries remain, we now have a better idea of what might be going on in that fatty blob of matter which allows us to understand each other.


Leadership and motivated followers


This is not just a passing interest of course. Being able to understand people, and in particular people’s emotions, is an important element of creating motivated followers and leading them effectively.

Read more

Presenting – The Physics of Engaging Presentations

When I talk about presenting nowadays a strong image often comes floating back from my past life as a teacher.

Standing close to a large ruler… a look of serious concentration on my face… goggles safely on… arm outstretched… holding tightly onto an elastic band. I have a volunteer gradually add weights…

50 grams! 100 grams! 150 grams!

As each mass was added the elastic stretched and the new length was entered as a data point by another student. The results were plotted instantly and projected on the wall.

The mass kept increasing…    1.1 Kilos! 1.2 kilos!

The students can see the line on the graph behind me is levelling off. They know what is about to happen but they can’t know when…

Read more