In his runaway bestselling book TheTipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell writes about a certain type of person he calls “senders.”

These people, he writes, “Are those who are very good at expressing their emotions and feelings

[in a positive and uplifting way], which means they are far more emotionally contagious than the rest of us.”

These are the types of people who, after spending some time in their presence, we can’t help but absorb, take on, and be influenced by the energy they are sending out.

Have you ever been feeling kind of blah and then happen to have an encounter with one of these types exuding all kinds of positive emotion and energy, and then find yourself all of a sudden feeling so much better as you walk away with a smile on your face and a spring in your step? I sure have.

It makes me think of a client I met with a short while ago who had come to me for some career counselling. This woman had recently been laid off because of corporate downsizing and was now trying to figure out what to do next with her career.

Although feeling quite frustrated, discouraged, and somewhat stressed out about her work situation she still seemed to have a sort of underlying positive energy or attitude…

I can’t quite describe it, but I found myself getting a strong sense that even within her challenging situation, she was ready, willing, and eager to get out there and get going on the next thing – whatever that was going to be – con mucho gusto! (With much gusto).

She was just one of those senders who’s optimism and determination, although in the midst of turmoil, was so absolutely contagious that I found myself feeling a real joy and excitement while in her presence.

Her energy and attitude was so infectious that as our session wrapped up I couldn’t help but say to her “I know you are going to be tremendously successful, and whoever you end up working for will be absolutely thrilled at their good luck for having nabbed you up first.”

My only lament was that I didn’t have a position to offer her.

It was so interesting for me to notice myself picking up on her positive energy, being influenced by it, taking it in, and feeling it myself – and then giving that optimism and confidence right back to her.

What a motivating feedback loop and lesson on the importance of fostering and focusing on having a more positive attitude. I’d say this is a huge ROI.

This also brings it back to a previous post about how we have a lot of influence on how others treat us.

Encountering people like this is a really special and very inspiring experience. I can’t wait to have more!

I’d love to hear if any of you have encountered someone like this in your life.