Empirical management research has focused more on the investigation of important interpersonal factors that could be beneficial for a company’s well-being, including emotional and empathic engagement between managers and employees. The capacity to understand and mirror others’ feelings could result in a mutual adaptation that generates interpersonal tuning (IT). In the present study, we measured IT by applying a hyperscanning approach with simultaneous recording of electroencephalographic (EEG) signals from two participants interacting together. Eleven leaders and 11 employees were recruited and asked to role-play an employee performance review with a rating (R) or no rating (NR) condition. In the NR condition leaders describe by words the employee’s proficiency, while in R they provided a quantitative rating. The NR condition emerged as a more engaging situation in terms of empathic responses and mirroring. This difference was detectable from the localization of neurophysiological effects over the frontopolar and frontal brain areas, and the higher synchronization of EEG delta frequency coherence. Behavioral results also revealed an increase of self-perceived emotional tuning, agreement on content, and interpersonal cooperation in the NR condition compared to R condition. These effects were present in both leaders and employees and have several implications for social and company well-being.
- social engagement