Here are some of my favourite posts, replies and links on the Positive Psychology At Work LinkedIn group this month…
Dr. Colleen Georges: Found this so inspirational: http://positivesharing.com/2013/01/100-years-old-and-happy-at-work/. It goes to show that happiness at work isn’t about age, salary, or status–its about attitude
Kimberley Seitz, PhD • Kudos to the organization that helps hire and maintain older workers so that they can do what they love and be productive in the process.
Dr. Colleen Georges – Resume Writer & Career Coach • I loved that the average age worker at the factory was in the mid-seventies
Sarah Lewis • Absolutely, gives us all hope!
Mike Scowen: Do you agree that of all the skills of leadership, listening is the most valuable? – and one of the least understood? http://bkcross.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/what-if-today-you-listened-first/?goback=%2Egmr_3886081%2Egde_3886081_member_212821953
Sarah Lewis • An interesting article. The general point about the importance of listening is well made and always bears repeating. What I particularly like though is the first story about helping a learner relax enough to be able to learn.
I was at a ski-ing class yesterday and had a ball – mainly because over most of my adult life I have slowly worked out how to learn while in company. As a child, adolescent and younger adult I was paralysed by performance anxiety, embarrassed by mistakes – guilty even about ‘not getting it’ and so on. A book I’m reading ‘Quiet’ – which I thoroughly recommend to any other introverts out there – has offered two concepts which are helpful. One is the research that shows that this ‘don’t watch me’ – reaction while trying to learn something is common to introverts ( and so makes group learning – like tennis tuition – something of a nightmare). The other thing is the idea of ‘deliberate practice’ which is how introverts teach themselves. Essentially, in the quiet of your own head, you decide which aspects of whatever you want to focus on next and get on and do it – in a concentrating way. The beauty of this ski experience is that it is coaching (not instruction, big difference) based in small groups of four and they stay at the top of the indoor slope and you just keep going round and they offer something you might like to work on each time. It’s like guided deliberate practice. It works for me. Anyway, this article seems more to me about her skill as a teacher, helping someone deal with their learning and performance anxiety through relaxing laughter, changing the frame of the experience. This must be an example of positive psychology at work – right? What do you think?
Mike Smith • Susan Cain the author of Quiet does a very good TED talk. She puts forward that introverts should also have a valuable place in society, yet as a whole we put the emphasis on extroverts. So yes listening is valuable and definitely misunderstood if you are expecting leaders that stand out.
Ryan Samia: If you are going to teach a class on becoming a positive leader, what would be the main 3 key points you would want to share? Thanks!
James E Johnson Johnson • 1. Avoid words that have a “negative feld meaning”
2. Present dichotomies avoid “good/bad”, “right/wrong”
3. Develop positive dicotomies (with a spectrum of possitvilities) for “special situations”.
Stuart Jackson • Everyone leading or teaching in leadership should walk this walk
What is my mastery
What is my autonomy and how do I make decisions
What is my purpose.
Works for me both as a leader and mentor / teacher
Look first in the mirror and know yourself
Emanuela Hellum • -Be an optimist
-Always motivate people
Mike Smith • People learn by watching and copying. Be the person to copy. Be positive in a genuine manner, show leadership as engaging and deliver at the level the audience can relate to.
Elizabeth Maher • Positive leaders arrive at positive outcomes in the quickest possible time while maintaining a positive team.
Sarah Lewis • Hi Ryan,
I take it you are about to do this? And this is for adult leaders?
1) The Kim Cameron research on Flourishing organisations – their three distinguishing features e..g affirmation bias, positive deviance and virtuous practices and how this is culture they can help build
2) Appreciative Inquiry as a methodology for change that is positive psychology based, possibly including the Higgs and Rowlands work on leadership and emergent change
3) you might want to have a look through the Diane Whitney et al book ‘appreciative leadership’ and the Kim Cameron book “Positive Leadership’. And the Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner did an edition on this which has some great case study storieshttp://www.aipractitioner.com/ai-practitioner-february-2011
Hope this helps, Sarah
Ryan Samia • Thanks for all comments… is there a quick 5minute activity or interaction that will help leaders get the importance of being positive?
Elizabeth Maher • Hi Ryan,
A quick but effective exercise is…..
1. At the start of the session ask each participant to give one word they might use when talking about an underperforming employee.
2. Ask them for one word regarding a good/excellent employee.
3. Hold discussion comparing their experience around both words.
It is most important that all attendees participate
My experience around this exercise is that participants are very surprised at their own performance based on two words thereby promoting buy-in to the importance of being a positive leader.
Do not overwork this exercise . Depending on the size of the group, you should allocate 10 mins max to the exercise.
Craig Rollason • Ask the class “what’s the alternative?”
Jude Smith Rachel: Perhaps We’re Looking at the Wrong Top: There Are Women Everywhere!
At what point will the glorification of big business stop? Time to start concentrating on all of the things we have achieved, and to tune out noises to the contrary. Just saying. What about you? http://gsm.ucdavis.edu/blog-feature/women-top-not-so-much?goback=%2Egde_3886081_member_203420983
Sarah Lewis • This post makes a good business case, with statistics, for the positive effects of diversity
‘A recent McKinsey study found startlingly consistent correlations between diversity and performance: for companies ranking in the top quartile of executive-board diversity, return on equity was 53 percent higher on average, than they were for those in the bottom quartile. At the same time, margins on earnings before interest and taxes at the most diverse companies were 14 percent higher, on average, than those of the least diverse companies.
Companies with more diverse executive teams outperform their peers: fielding a team of top executives with varied cultural backgrounds and life experiences can broaden a company’s strategic perspective. And relentless competition for the best people should reward organizations that cast their nets beyond traditional talent pools for leadership.
Research from Catalyst and others reflects that companies with a strong female representation at top management level perform better than those without. Gender-diverse boards have a positive impact on performance including a 35% higher return on equity, and stronger stock market growth.’
Always useful. And links to the research in the original article
Jude Smith Rachele • Compelling. Good news all around, and plenty upon which to build. Common sense tells us there must be greater participation of women across all of society. It is most important we bring a certain perspective and wisdom (of a female gender kind that is not just reserved for women) into Board rooms. Personally, I’d like to see more femininity rather than women, but, there you go. One step at a time.