Oftentimes, we’re encouraged to be different. Be unique! Be innovative! But actually, every once in a while, being like someone else could be the better advice.
Fast Company talks up the power of mimicry in business. The author Ron Friedman conducted research with University of Rochester “motivational experts” finding that having a positive thinker in the room rubbed off on others. A motivational person begets other motivational people.
Likewise, when Debbie Downer is in the room, that person brings everyone lower. All of this is called “motivational synchronicity,” a tool Friedman says we’ve developed in order to form bonds with others.
“Because we are born to emulate the motivation and emotions of those around us, negative colleagues can have a detrimental impact not just on our attitudes–but on our performance as well,” the article says.
The story cautions readers to hire the right people and choose the right companies, seeking out people and environments that will foster a productive and cohesive workplace.
However, you can also take this idea and look inward. Are you a positive influence in the office? If your colleagues or boss don’t think you are, it could become an issue for your future with the company.
Or, is there someone at the office that you feel drains everyone of good vibes? That person is to be avoided, if at all possible.