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You may have heard Jim Rohn’s quote at a certain point: “You are the average of the five people you spend most time with.” But are you really taking this quote into full consideration? As we get older and spend more time working, for most adults, the five people we spend the most time with often would be our colleagues and bosses at work.  Have you thought about how that impacts your decision making and who you are as a person? Or how you may influence others as a person?

If not, you should. And neuroscientists Moran Cerf at Northwestern University who has been studying decision-making and happiness for a decade got some evidence for you.

What Cerf found was that at the end of the day, every individual had the potential to impact others. “Buzzkills brought down people’s mood, fast-talkers caused the pace of conversation to pick up, and comedians got people feeling light or funny.” To think that one conversation can change or pivot an environment or ambiance is quite powerful. This also means that every hire at a company can cause both a positive or negative ripple effect in the organization’s culture and engagement dynamic.

If who we surround with impacts the way we think, decide, and execute, shouldn’t we be more thoughtful about our hiring, managing, and embracing new talents? How might I be more intentional as a leader, company, and a friend?”

with love, Monica Kang

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