WARNING! You are extremely contagious, by Paul Kaye

Paul Kaye

by Paul Kaye

PSR Contributor

August 7, 2018


WARNING! You are extremely contagious.

How you chose to approach the day has a significant impact not only on your own performance but also on the performance of others. Each morning you have a choice to make – to be positive or negative – to see the glass half full or half empty.

Why? Because your emotions – and therefore you – are contagious!

Did you know that how you feel is also felt physically by others? It’s true. You are openly broadcasting how you are feeling to others without you even realizing. Your mood is like a common cold, and by exposing others to it, they can catch it too. Ah-Choo!

I can already sense the groans from many sceptics; “This sounds like a lot of new age touchy feely stuff with no scientific basis.” Well, they’d be wrong! Research by the Heart Math Institute found that when you have a feeling in your heart, that feeling is sent to every cell in the body, and then outward. Other people, up to 10 feet away, can sense those feelings transmitted by your heart. Still not convinced? Well, Harvard University has found similar results in their research studies; the emotions that you feel are contagious and affect the people around you.

When you stop to think about this, it actually makes perfect sense. We have all worked with a colleague who turned up each morning in a bad mood, moaning about the gripes and pains in their life. You know the glass half empty type. Just being around them makes you feel different; you start to feel drained and your own outlook becomes negative. That one colleague who is dragging their own black cloud of misery around has sucked the optimism and excitement straight out of you. Their bad mood and negativity was contagious.

What about this, have you ever worked for a boss who was anxious and nervous all the time? The type of boss who was worried about every decision they made? They panicked about reaching their targets because they couldn’t handle someone at corporate thinking badly about them. Whenever you were around them, how did you feel? No doubt they made you feel anxious, stressed and paranoid as well. Their feelings were contagious!

If those around you can catch your emotions, then how you choose to show up can have a significant impact on the performance of not just yourself but the whole team. You are physically broadcasting to others how you feel. Continually. There are only two things you can broadcast: positive energy or negative energy.

You have a choice to make. Do you want to show up and bring positivity to your team or do you want to infect your team with a dangerous dose of negativity? The research by the Heart Math Institute and Harvard University helps us understand why positivity and negativity can spread so quickly… it’s biology! Not our state of mind, but actual biology. We can’t help picking up on the feelings of those we are surrounded by. If one person turns up in a bad mood, then it’s like dominoes… each person who comes into contact with that person becomes infected, and so on.

You have the choice as to whether your team succeeds or fails just by making the conscious decision about how you will approach the day. You should choose to broadcast positivity. If everyone on your team makes the same choice then performance will increase. Being positive is the best approach for success.

Oh, and if you are one of those people who is contaminating your teammates with your incessant bad moods, your days are seriously numbered! As word spreads about this type of research and your destructive impact on the team, you will no longer go unnoticed. Your own choice to show up in a negative frame of mind will have you dismissed from the team. Don’t say you haven’t been warned!

Great teams are infused with passion, optimism and belief. Teammates make the right choice each day. They choose to be positive.


Paul Kaye is Vice President, Product and Talent Development for Rogers in Canada.  Paul spends his days working with stations and talent across all formats with a sole focus on helping improve performance and growing the business.  Prior to being at Rogers Paul held the role of National Talent Development Director for Newcap Radio and also a Group Programming role in England.  Paul is a certified coach and is passionate about helping individuals, teams and organizations reach their greatest potential, which is the fuel behind his other project The Talent Lab. Paul lives in Toronto with his wife, 2 dogs and a cat – life is never quiet!  

You can reach Paul at **@th**********.co  





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