In leadership and motivation building, you won’t always have time to empathize with someone’s emotional state and may simply need to choose to immediately influence the other person towards your emotion. Influence is not only important one on one, but also in group situations. Let me use an example of influence at the group level. I will use the example of a fire.
If there is a fire, naturally because there is danger, everyone is going to feel fear. If one person begins to panic, everyone else’s level of fear is going to increase as the panicking person is leading the group with the strongest emotion. In this situation, panic is going to equal disaster as when you are gripped with a negative emotion you can not think clearly.
In order to avert disaster, a member of the group needs to generate an even more intense positive emotion such as confidence or determination and lead the group. The new emotional leader would need to show the panicking person and the rest of the group that they are intensely confident and will now be leading the group. This will then reduce the level of fear in the group and increase confidence as the group attunes to the new leader.
This of course will not eliminate the fear, as fear is an appropriate emotion in this situation. The confident leader will also still be afraid, it is just that they have decided to become even more intensely confident and determined to find safety. That is why, in order to lead others, the higher-status fire-fighter must manage his or her own fear and maintain confidence.
If the fire-fighter begins to panic, unless someone else is somehow able to generate an even stronger level of a positive emotion, the group is likely to have no chance of averting disaster.
So if the stronger emotion leads the interaction, the emotions you consistently and intensely generate is going to influence how others perceive and respond to you. If you are happy, other people around you will become happier. If you are generous, other people around you will become more generous, and if you are irritable other people around you will become more irritable as they naturally attune to your emotional leadership.
That is why in the long term, consistently happy people begin to maintain relationships with other consistently happy people and consistently sad people maintain relationships with other consistently sad people, or not at all because others are finding it hard to relate to them. I’m sure at some point in your life you have been to a party. Who is more influential, who do you want to speak to more, the smiling bubbly person at the centre of it all, or the angry person in the corner. From those two people, who would you rather be?
To your Success and Fulfilling Happiness,