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Cheer Leadership Tip 35 - Be the 12th Man

Look for opportunities to cheer everyone on! Hold the door open for others; restock the drinks in the breakroom fridge; smile and say, “Good day, Tamatha!” to everyone you pass; load paper in the copier when it is running low and start a fresh pot of coffee even if that’s not your cup of tea. The opportunities are endless when you begin to be intentional about lifting others up.

Did you know that “behavioral contagion” (i.e. behavior being contagious) is a well-documented phenomenon in psychology? In fact, “mimicking the actions we see in those around us is a natural way that we empathize and gain a sense of how others are feeling.”

Unfortunately, while certain positive behaviors like smiling and laughing are contagious, certain negative behaviors are also catching. One study found that when people encounter rude behavior at work, they’re more likely to perceive rudeness in future workplace interactions, and in turn to respond rudely themselves. This toxic behavior can obviously negatively impact morale, employee and customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.

One way you can help prevent negative and toxic behavior from spreading among those on your team? Be intentional about spreading positivity and lifting others up!. Even seemingly small gestures like smiling, holding the door open, or sharing a sincere compliment can have a big impact on those you come in contact with.

This week, I challenge you to look for opportunities to be the 12th man, not just in your department or team, but to those you come in contact with throughout the entire organization. Your team members will catch on and follow suit, which will go a long way in creating and sustaining a positive company culture.

FUN FACT: According to research, laughter is contagious. The brain responds to the sound of laughter and signals the muscles in the face to respond. Laughter is a significant part of social connection, and some scientists believe our human ancestors may have laughed in groups before they could speak, making laughter a precursor to language.


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