Updated: Jul 1, 2020
I went out to recycle my plastic. In the middle of posting cartons into the holes of the recycling container, a woman screamed at me from the end of the parking lot, "You can't put drink cartons in there!!"
Now, I am a passionate recycler and if that's what she's choosing to scream about, she's clearly a pretty passionate recycler as well. So, even though we're both on the same team, it sure didn't feel like it.
Here's what happened. She lost me at "You" and I may or may not have returned fire with "You don't know what you're talking about."
That's the power of emotional contagion. What you feel influences how I feel, whether I notice it or not.
In Social Intelligence, Daniel Goleman tells us, If you need to give negative feedback to someone, if you do it with warmth, your words will be received more positively.
Whether you are giving an employee review or advising about recycling, it's good to keep this in mind.
If you'd like to feel some happy emotional contagion: click on the link. You won't be able to watch with a straight face.