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Management, Neuroscience and Emotional Contagion – Redux

December 8, 2011

This week marks the 2nd Anniversary of The Intentional Workplace.  I’m pleased to say that in the past year the blog’s readership has greatly expanded. Thank you! All of this year’s posts continue to attract readers but two in particular stand out. They deserve a rerun.

I wrote Why Neuroscience Should Change the Way We Manage People from a purely organic sense of what was evolving in my work. As the science of understanding how the brain works continues to reshape our knowledge of human dynamics, it seems logical that management has to be re-thought in light of this new information.

Most management practices are the legacy of centuries-old thinking about human motivation.  Much of that thinking is now anachronistic. Everything in today’s organization needs to be reexamined in light of the information that is emerging about what humans need to thrive.  If we truly pay attention to this information, the fundamentals of management will be transformed.

It has been over fifteen years since the concept of Emotional Intelligence made its way into mainstream organizational life. It’s striking to me how foreign the world of emotions still is within the business mindset. Too many people are still acting as if emotions are a nuisance, or inappropriate – even taboo. 

 Our collective understanding of the role and value of emotions is still widely misunderstood. We’re way behind the illuminating findings of the neuroscience of emotions. Emotional contagion is real. It’s operating within every group, team and workplace relationship – regardless of whether leadership acknowledges it’s existence or not. Senior leaders would be wise to learn how it works. The conditions that leaders create can shift the emotional atmosphere of a culture, a meeting or a single interaction. We hope they’ll read the second most widely read post of this year – Leadership and Emotional Contagion.

Whether you are rereading these posts or discovering them for the first time – I hope you’ll enjoy. And I hope you’ll be back for more as The Intentional Workplace enters Year 3.

As always I appreciate your readership, comments, tweets and shares.

Louise Altman, Intentional Communication Partners

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