In the earliest days of human evolution, we were utterly dependent upon one another for survival. We had to be. We were smaller, weaker, and slower than every major mammalian predator. For us to survive, especially in groups that did not include our direct kin, we had to evolve an ability to emotionally connect with others.

One way we do this is through mirroring, an evolved ability to feel a kinship for anyone performing relatable activities. Case in point: If you smile at a baby and the baby smiles back, you feel an immediate connection.

For the infant, mirroring is a way of bonding with the parents or social group to secure protection and comfort. From your perspective, the experience bridges your language barrier, showing the baby that the two of you can communicate and understand each other.

As this process unfolds, your brain’s gray matter perceives the experience in a positive light. Of course, this happens instinctively, instantaneously, and subconsciously. But because it happens, we can learn to deliberately harness the power of mirroring to develop stronger business relationships.

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