In amongst the hourly updates about the pandemic we have been seeking out some of the more positive news articles and sharing them under the #RemarkableKindesses banner. And there have been a lot out there. It seems the whole world is finding its sense of community and togetherness again. A whole range of selfless and random acts of kindness are occurring across the globe.
It's not just the virus that’s contagious. Emotions are too.
Emotional Contagion is the phenomenon of having one person's emotions and related behaviours directly trigger similar emotions and behaviours in other people. As an example, you will probably already know that humans tend to mimic behaviours, If someone smiles at you, you smile back. Emotionally, smiling makes us feel better, just as frowning makes us feel worse.
In a customer service setting research has shown that the emotional state of the customer is directly influenced by the emotions displayed by the employee/service provider. We all know what good service looks and feels like and how it makes us feel when we have received it.
A controversial experiment demonstrating emotional contagion using the social media platform Facebook was carried out in 2012 on 689,000 users by filtering positive or negative emotional content from their news feeds. This showed that mass emotional contagion can occur through social media platforms. If we only ever observe negative content on our feeds we become more negative and inward-looking.
So let’s continue to talk about the great things we see happening in the world. Let’s keep the acts of kindness going and keep the conversations focussed on growth and opportunity.
The more positivity we see, the more positive we will become.
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