All business is social. So is yawning.
This funny short video was made as a prank, but it reveals a significant psychology every leader should know.
We all yawn. But why is it contagious? The answer is not because we’re tired, it’s because we are social.
Psychologists agree that one of the reasons yawning is contagious is because we are socially aware. There is an unconscious empathy that is communicated when we yawn in response to someone else’s yawn.
Yawning is not contagious in children under one and only slightly contagious in children aged 1 to 4. After 4, when children develop more advance social empathy, yawning seems to be contagious about 40% to 60% of the time. People with mild and severe autism who don’t show signs of social empathy also don’t show a response to someone yawning.
This doesn’t mean you should yawn in front of your team to see if it’s emulated.
It does mean that you should be aware that whatever you do in front of your group is contagious. People consciously and unconsciously copy each other. Yawning. Smiling. Complaining. Depression. Happiness.
We’re all social. What you do matters. Not just for you, but for the people around you.
Remember that and your business will thrive. Ignore it and you may as well just go to sleep.