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Connecting with Mirror Neurons

Explain: Some levels of passion make others feel listened to and understood. When an individual thinks you understand him/her, his/her brain releases important chemicals. Those chemicals — dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins — cause the brain to feel pleasure and feel close to you. You can persuade people to see your point of view through these healthy collaborations.

Tell: Many believe that empathy is associated with mirror neurons. These groups of brain cells are located in the left hemisphere and connect when you watch someone perform a task. They connect to each other as though you’re performing the task rather than watching. Mirror neurons may go beyond physical tasks and make connections through emotional observations. These neurons basically read minds or at least intentions.

Tell: Research has shown that those mirror neurons light up when a person experiences an emotion. They also activate when that person only sees someone else experiencing that emotion. When we see someone express passion, joy, concern, and so on, experts believe that the mirror neurons send messages to the limbic region of the brain, the area associated with emotion. In a sense, there is a place in the brain that seems to be responsible for living inside other people’s brains—that is, to feel what they are feeling.

Ask: If our brains are activated by the movements and feelings of others, what does this suggest for the way we should present to a group of people?

Look for: with passion and enthusiasm

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