We will continue to navigate the novel Coronavirus. As we do, how can we, as leaders, help our team members with their feelings of anxiety?
Sigal Barsade, a professor with Wharton management, believes, “The widespread panic we have been witnessing is a form of emotional contagion.” She goes on to define emotional contagion as the transfer of moods and feelings from one person to another. According to Barsade, "I would argue that emotional contagion, unless we get a hold on it, is going to greatly amplify the damage caused by COVID-19. The good news is that you can be inoculated, to a certain degree, against emotional contagion.”
She outlines three steps to help prevent the spread of unchecked emotions:
1. Be aware. Understanding is the first step in managing.
2. Reduce Feedback. Limit the amount of feedback you let into your life.
3. Do not ignore the problem but be purposeful. Stay alert, in both words and actions.
For Barsade’s full article and podcast, view this week’s leadership tip.
Coronavirus: How Emotional Contagion Exacts a Toll