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Positive Psychology in the Work Place

Attitude makes a big difference...

More and more in workplaces, in teams, organisations and within ourselves we are being expanded to work with strengths, creativity and positive emotions.

There has been considerable research over the last three to four years looking at how much positivity is needed to counter-balance negativity.

This was carried out using video observations to watch the interactions of people and groups and the long-term effects. Results showed that high-performing teams who got on well, and which communicated clearly and easily had the highest amount of positivity to negativity.

This research tells us of the importance of positive recognition and positive regard in the workplace. You probably don’t need the research to tell you that being around positive people and environments is a nicer experience.

Giving positive recognition can be very hard to do if you have not grown up with being around adults who gave each other and you positive recognition. It is one of those things that gets embedded into our personalities, communication style and behaviour at a very young age. So, if you didn’t readily receive positive recognition you may find this very difficult to do or to practise.

Recognition is the way we let people know that we exist, it can be either positive or negative, conditional or unconditional. What we know is recognition is biologically necessary and vital for our motivation at work.

Recognition can be physical, verbal or non-verbal (Action Strokes). Physical recognition can be simple touch, hugs, kisses, caresses, back rubs, being held, holding hands etc. Verbal recognition can be a person’s looks, clothing, intelligence, generosity, creativity, elegance, wisdom, dignity, leadership ability, tact, warmth, energy, taste, honesty or any attribute a person possesses. Action recognition

is non-verbal forms of recognition like listening, empathising, or actively liking or loving someone.

Recognition has power. It has the ability to make people feel OK or not OK about themselves. Starvation of recognition can lead to physical, mental and emotional illness.

The recognition you give is what you get. Positive recognition gives us positive emotions and the value of positive emotions contributes to people’s sense of well-being and optimal functioning.

Positive psychology is about making the lives of people more fulfilling and identifying and nurturing talent. It is important for leaders and workplaces to focus on talent and strengths to bring out the best in people, which in turn brings out the best in your business and enhances the customer’s experience.

As Paul Dunn, “WOW Wizard” says, “The secret is little ‘wows’ not the big ‘WOW’”. And how do you achieve that wow-factor? It is the little things you do that make the profound difference.

So what does that come down to? First, it is important to look at our own balance of positive and negative, internal and external communication. If you are noticing you tend to be more negative than positive, you can choose to change this.

Helpful tips for making change. Start by:

  • Changing the way you talk about it

  • Changing your attitude toward it

  • Changing how you act

  • Altering an underlying decision or value about it.

What you think, what you say, what you do – becomes habit. Create new habits, because you can. And, as with all change, it is about practice.

This is absolutely life-changing and the only place where we are capable of making lasting change is when we start with ourselves.

Surround yourself with people who take you higher so you constantly endorse positive changes and actions. You will soon start to notice lots of little positive things happening to you. More smiles, laughter, creativity and fun will emerge.

I am reminded of this American Indian story which I’d like to share. One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘ wolves ‘ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

The motto is clear: only feed the person inside you that is positive. Ignore and relegate to the sidelines the negative. The difference it will make to your life will be enormous.

Originally published by NZ Beauty

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