Emma McQueen

With all the changes happening at the moment – particularly in Victoria, the ‘state of disaster’ – you would be completely normal to feel all over the place at the moment.  Whether you’re still able to work, or stuck at home, there’s no doubt we are all feeling heavily, negatively impacted by our circumstances – happy and positive one day, and extremely low the next.

BUT… even though we may all be struggling that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a positive impact on other people’s lives. And in turn, impact the lives of people we don’t even know.  But how do we do this? Well, we can do this with a phenomenon known as ‘the ripple effect’.

My business coach Emma McQueen often talks about the ripple effect. The Ripple Effect refers to the spreading influence of an action or event. It’s often talked about in relation to spreading kindness, but can just as easily relate to the transfer of any mood – negative or positive.

If you sit and think about your last week for a moment, can you recall a time when you interacted with someone that was on a bit of a downer and feeling pretty crappy?  How did that leave you feeling? Probably pretty crappy too, right?  And likewise, think about the last person you spoke to that was really positive and uplifting – didn’t that leave you feeling uplifted too?  You can probably even remember transferring that positivity onto the next person you spoke to, am I right?  I would put money on the fact that it did.

In the coaching group I’m in, Thriving Women, we regularly experience a positive ripple effect as we support, empower and lift each other up.  We experience it together as a group, and then we transfer those emotions outward towards others in our circle.  It’s a beautiful thing when you can feel the positive impact it has on yourself and others.

Which is why I believe that right now, more than ever before, what we all need is a massive positive ripple effect through the community – one that spreads love, kindness and support to everyone in our circle.  Because when we do that we’re going to make others feel better, and they in turn are more likely to do the same within their own circle.  And so on, and so on.  The idea is that the ripple effect becomes an emotional contagion and spreads. In fact this effect was proven in a scientific study (Barsade, 2002), which even showed that when there was a positive ripple effects among groups, people experienced improved cooperation, decreased conflict and increased task performance.

Apologies if I just geeked out on you a bit there with the science-y stuff but I was a psychology student in my university days and haven’t quite lost the fascination with it yet!  But tell me that’s not exactly what we need right now to kick Covid in the butt (and out the door), don’t you think?

Creating a Positive Ripple Effect In Business

Keep in mind too, the ripple effect is something we can and should apply in our business every day.  Don’t lose sight of the fact that the effect you have on your clients – whatever change you create for them – can have a positive effect that’s transferred onto others – consciously or sub-consciously.

So continue to show support, spread kindness and empower others – whether they are your clients, your colleagues or even your competitors – because when you do you’ll be creating a positive impact that will become contagious … and it will be the kind of ‘virus’ you’ll be glad to spread.

So even though most of us are doing it tough right now, let’s see if we can share some positivity with everyone we know and create a ripple effect that’ll help us all come out of this crazy year in a much better place, and hopefully sooner rather than later!


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