The psychological ripple effect at work

Having a great system with highly educated and experience employees doesn’t guarantee you will maximize the true potential of your company or the people within.  Taking time to think through communications, ensuring the coaching you are giving is not only important but also timely can make all the difference.  Whether you are coaching someone on being aware of a common issue that leads to failure or explaining to them how they missed a common issue that led to their failure ones tact, the way the communicate and when they coach all affect the equation.  If you are not timely or respectful when dealing with your employees what are the chances your employees will treat your customers properly when it matters most?

Imagine your team (staff) as a room full of eight-year-old children and realize that not every child is going to learn the information you are trying to give them the exact way.  This does not mean that the kids who learn it the quickest will be the brightest in the long run or most successful, merely that they caught on quick.  Often times from a motivation standpoint the child that has to work the hardest and pushes themselves because of outlying factors will create a greater work ethic through the obstacles they face where those whom it comes easy might shine short term but lack substance as they progress and stressors arise.  When coaching/training employees giving someone the goal or information needed is the beginning, follow up is key to proper growth and success.

The psychology of the workplace comes in to play daily; in the ways we communicate with each other.  I have written piece before that speak to the affect we have on each other’s daily lives more than we realize (How you effect your team).  Even our superiors in the workplace can be affected by the way we interact with them, it’s called the mirror effect in the work place.  The way we present our self to others will be reflected back to us and others as the person we have imprinted moves on to the next interaction in their day.

Think of the times where you ended up talking about the negativity someone brought into your meeting and time wasted that could have been used being more effective?  Though we like to think we aren’t that easily distracted or affected in our daily routine the opposite is quite true.  The average person will be distracted, slowed down or completely thrown off their routine for the day through negativity.  That is why it is important to have the right culture, communication and overall atmosphere at your workplace. It starts with

The complete “mirror effect” as it pertains to the daily interaction with our staff as a leader.  If you staff comes to you and ask you to look into something and you deny it time and time again they will look into your requests (the average person) less and less.  You are showing them that their input or ideas do not matter; even if you have the knowledge showing it doesn’t work.  It’s the speed and way to which you respond that can make the difference in keeping them motivated and bought in to the critical thinking needed to be an integral part of your team’s success.  Instead of responding to them immediately, tell them you will take it under advisement (look into) and then either wait for them to follow up or respond later explaining to them the decision.  This delay from time of request to response can stage the perception that you spent time thinking about it.  They understand you probably did not spend the whole time, but the mere fact you didn’t shoot it down immediately reinforces the importance of taking your time on decisions.

How does this affect our customers; the interactions we have with our teams? 

Some people refer to it as the “ripple effect” where as you start a chain reaction with the way you handle your employees.  They will in turn treat their employees and their customers in a similar fashion. Though we like to think of ourselves as completely independent from suggestion and outside factors the reality is that we are affected by so many different variables in a given day and can let it derail our day and the people we interact with.

When we prop up our staff with confidence and positive attitudes they will handle a negative customer much better than if we met them with negativity and aggression.  We have a lasting impact on ourselves, our teams and our customer daily.  How we carry ourselves, communicate and operate carry more weight in today’s mobile and social world than ever before.  The ability to react to and communicate to others is at an all time high, this leaves little room for error and negativity.

Don’t misunderstand steering clear from negativity as never holding people accountable and coaching them on their weaknesses or mistakes.  That is what strong systems and procedures allow us to do; hold people accountable without making it personal. If they failed a procedural step and not you as a leader the conversation is completely different and so it the turnaround time on the coaching. This is why we work tirelessly to help businesses of all sizes work on and develop proper systems and procedures to maximize team effectiveness and company growth.

How do we take this and run with it?

We have to show the traits we want to instill in others, often times at a greater pronouncement that otherwise noted.  This over the top approach (10% more than normal) to ensure they see the action helps to mirror the positive qualities we are trying to instill. It is very hard to lead a team to have qualities you do not retain yourself.  That is why we must be patient, support and also hold people accountable to the expectations we seek to empower consistently.  There is no short cut to raising a child, coaching up future leaders or building a company.

In our daily lives we must be aware of the negativity we spread, how we affect others and the effect we are trying to instill.  There are books, classes and degrees dealing with psychology in the work place and how to structure your routines and systems.  This is just one insight across many spectrums that we can affect change in a positive and negative light.  Its up to us to set the standard on a consistent basis; what affect will you have on your staff, on your company and your goals?


These are just some of the items we help coach and support in our 1 on 1 support services.  Teaching leaders to maximize the potential of their teams (daily, weekly or monthly support) with the proper sound board to learn and coach with makes all the difference.   Follow us on twitter for more daily information @bluerockcon.

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