Written by Maria Moran, IMEC Regional Manager
Given the constant change and challenges we face as leaders, some foundations are so solid that they are truisms. Yet, sometimes we deserve a few reminders.
A Fresh Look
Survival of the fittest instincts run through us all. We are wired to look for the negative in an effort to protect ourselves. What if we created a culture that trained teams to recognize the positive first? Would solutions be created more efficiently? What if you created a vibrant business by changing the lens that your business is viewed through by its employees?
Positive Psychology expert Shawn Achor (www.shawnachor.com) suggests that people who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge. Shawn calls this the “happiness advantage”. As one of the world’s leading researchers on the connection between happiness and business success, Shawn has documented that people who work with a positive mind-set, perform better on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, and engagement. Yet happiness is perhaps the most misunderstood driver of performance.
CAUTION: Positive Psychology is NOT training your workforce through the proverbial rose colored glasses and ignoring real time challenges!
Positive Psychology techniques train your brain to identify the positive faster - see opportunity faster than constraint and develop more creative solutions.
Shawn’s research is undeniable. Positive Intelligence unleashes a team’s potential by overcoming the negative thoughts that often plague our efforts. Happy people are more productive at their jobs. Happy people are more creative problem solvers.
How do you unleash the potential of positivity through your organization? There are many methods to foster this change and some of these initiatives require only two minutes a day to begin to retrain our brains according to Achor. Below are a few examples of simple habits that exercise and train your brain to drive positivity.
-- Write 1 positive email each day
-- Ask all employees to identify 3 new things they are grateful for each day
-- Make eye contact and smile at all peers that come within 10 feet of you
These simple steps can get you started today. Why wait? Share sincere gratitude during your morning huddles. Smile simply to share a second of positive exchange between employees. Take an extra minute to send a positive message to someone.
Do it for 21 days (necessary to create a new habit). Look for the change. Evaluate the data. Can you push past average? Science says you can.
Nimble organizational innovation is closer than is seems. Invest in the habits proven to make your business more productive – after all it’s free!