Listening to others, creating an open communication environment, and being focused on the positive are all points covered in my book Building a Winning Business. Collectively, it’s the idea of getting work done by getting along. It turns out; this opinion is backed by research.
Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis (see earlier post) note a study that states only those executives who get along with others succeed—with other things like talent and motivation being equal.
While getting along with others may not be a new revelation, what is new from Goleman and Boyatzis is the idea of “mirror neutrons.” Mirror neutrons cause us to reproduce the emotion of others within ourselves. Mirror neutrons create “an instant sense of shared experience.” What does this mean as a leader?
Goleman and Boyatzis share (or warn), “Mirror neurons have particular importance in organizations, because leaders’ emotions and action prompt followers to mirror those feelings and deeds. The effects of activity neural circuitry in followers’ brains can be very powerful.”
If our emotions and deeds can create mirror responses in others, we need to be purposeful. By purposeful, I don’t mean Pollyanna. When problems occur, they need to be acknowledged and tackled with a positive attitude. Beyond solving the problem at hand, based on the research by Goleman and Boyatzis, there’s a multiplying impact across the firm based on how we handle it and ourselves.