Thursday, May 09, 2013
Why "Be the Change That You Wish to See in the World” Really Works
You've probably seen the Gandhi quote, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” somewhere. You might even have it tacked up on the wall of your office, or home.
Well, guess what? It really works.
Last week, I started a (free) Coursera class, Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence, which I'm loving. One of the modules is about emotional contagion. Basically, how you feel and manage your feelings affects other people. If you go into work feeling sad, or angry, your co-workers may start to feel the same way. Even if you put on a happy face, if you're feeling down or discouraged inside, they will pick up on it.
In the same module, they talked about social contagion, which means that if you change your behavior, there is a good chance that someone you know will change his, or her behavior. Also, your behaviorial change has the potential to impact one of your friend's friends, or a member of her social network, even if you've never met him. There is also some evidence that your behavior change could influence behavior change three relationships out!
How cool is that?
So, let's all think about the change we'd like to see in the world, and figure out how our behavior can be part of the change. It will make a difference!