11 Action Steps Increasing Workplace Well-Being Through Positive Psychology

Positivity.

Happiness, inspiration, gratitude, joy; all fall under the umbrella of POSITIVITY.

Our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive.

Many shelve the effort it takes work on mindset, to develop their innate ability to train their brain for peak performance. Their focus on money-making strategies keeps their nose to the grindstone while somewhere in the back of their mind they wonder why they still aren’t fulfilled, why their stress regularly gets the best of them and why they can’t seem to make it no matter how many more hours they’re putting into their day.

People with fixed mindset miss choice opportunities for improvement and consistently underperform, while those with a “growth mindset” watch their abilities move ever upward.

Conversely the most successful people realize the benefits of mindset development and deliberately create long-lasting habits of success. While money making strategies are important those focused on nurturing mindset development understand the first step to creating wealth comes from an internal, energized foundation which upholds personal momentum during good times and bad.

Mindset training / teaches our brains how to perceive reality and how those perceptions predispose our behavior.~+~Is positivity just “feel-good” quotes and encouraging words? Not in the least. No matter how much we love this guy => 🙂  and the simple concept of “put on a happy face” we must understand the core meaning and reason behind WHY humans have an innate need to feel happy. Pasting an external and positive attitude will only façade ones world and cause more internal damage.
“Achieving genuine happiness may require bringing about a transformation in your outlook, your way of thinking, and this is not a simple matter.” The 14th Dalai
Lama

Incorporating daily principles of positivity helps us stay on top instead of dipping below our success line, for some a functioning line. Many are primarily focused on nutrients to put in their bodies and completely overlook the need to feed their brains.
Learn how to use the principles of positive psychology to gain competitive edge in your career and in the workplace.Incorporate mind training tools to help you overcome obstacles, reverse bad habits, become more efficient, and productive, make the most of opportunities, and help you conquer your ambitious goals – in life and workFactors of negativity set in without warning…“life happens” as the saying goes. When we practice positivity we literally train our brain to absorb life’s trying instances instead of succumbing to it. With negativity our minds close, our muscles tighten, our cardio vascular system suffers and our creativity and energy dwindle.When we train our minds towards the positive we have resources – a back up staple to lean on during the hard times as a conscious reminder of our greater purpose and during the good times as an internal beacon to shine out to maintain our flow and affect others.“When we model the type of mindset and habits that fuel high performance, we are in effect instilling these very mindsets and habits in our colleagues, friends and loved ones.The power to spark positive emotional contagion multiplies if you are in a leadership position. Studies have found that when leaders are in a positive mood, their employees or teams are more likely to be in a positive mood themselves, to exhibit pro-social helping behaviors toward one another, and to coordinate tasks more efficiently with less effort.
People in positive moods are better able to think creatively and logically, and to engage in complex problem solving and even better negotiations.” Shawn AchorOur brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive.Understanding that the world is shaped largely by our mindset gives us the power to believe in our own ability to succeed.Studies have confirmed numerous ways we can permanently raise our happiness baseline and adopt a more positive mindset. People can become happier, pessimists can become optimists, and stressed and negative brains can be trained to see more possibility. The competitive edge is available to all who put in the effort.Expecting positive outcomes actually makes them more likely to arise.Being realistic about the present maximizes our potential for the future.Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need to change; it is the realization that we can.When we train our brains to adapt to Positivity, we’re setting off a chain of events that helps us reap all the benefits of a positive brain.
Believing that, for the most part, our actions determine our fates in life can only spur us to work harder; and when we see this hard work pay off, our belief in ourselves only grows stronger.The most successful people, in work and in life, are those who have what psychologists call an “internal locus of control”, the belief that their actions have a direct effect on their outcomes. People with an external locus, on the other hand, are more likely to see daily events as dictated by external forces.People in positive moods are better able to think creatively and logically, and to engage in complex problem solving and even better negotiations.Feeling that we are in control, that we are masters of our own fate at work and at home, is one of the strongest drivers of both well-being and performance.Studies show that simply believing we can bring about positive change in our lives increases motivation and job performance; success, in essence, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.When someone is stuck in Negativity their brain is quite literally incapable of seeing opportunities. But armed with positivity, the brain stays open to possibility. Psychologists call this “Predictive Encoding”: Priming yourself to expect a favorable outcome actually encodes your brain to recognize the outcome when it does in fact arise.

We become more successful when we are happier and more positive.Our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive.We’re going to apply actions and develop the power to create long-lasting success in every element of our lives.Positive psychology researchers conducted a study of nearly every scientific study available – over 200 studies on 279,000 people worldwide and found that happiness leads to success in nearly every domain, including work, health, friendship, sociability, creativity, and energy.You’ve heard this before: When I make “$X” amount then I’ll be able to do this or that which will in turn make me happy.” This type of thinking delays our right to success, this indefinitely puts off our natural human desire for happiness.Happiness is the center around which success orbits.We become more successful when we are happier and more positive. Positivity precedes success.Applying positive psychology into our daily life requires deliberate application of specific strategies.These strategies are what lead to long-lasting improvement and open the door to

  • more productivity
  • overcoming obstacles
  • reversing bad habits
  • becoming more efficient
  • achieving ambitious goals
  • and making the most of opportunities.Did you know:
    Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by 56%. Testing revealed that sales agents with more optimistic styles sold 37% more than those with pessimistic ones and were 1⁄2 as likely to quit.If you are a leader, whether of 3 people or of 3000 people, remember that the power to affect results rests not just in who’s on your team, but how you leverage your team.Most professionals face daily setbacks, but the life of a salesman is, almost by definition, fraught with failure and rejection. In many businesses, only one in ten proposals leads to a sale, meaning that those salesmen experience rejection 90% of the time. Hence the high turnover in sales industries.A few choice words can alter a person’s mindset, which in turn can alter their accomplishments. We all have the power to influence those around us – positively or negatively.Studies have found that when leaders are in a positive mood, their employees or teams are more likely to be in a positive mood themselves, to exhibit pro-social helping behaviors toward one another, and to coordinate tasks more efficiently with less effort.
Gallup asked ten million employees around the world if they could agree or disagree with the following statement:
“My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.” Those who agreed were found to be more productive, contributed more to profits, and were significantly more likely to stay with their company long term. The BEST LEADERS already know this and go out of their way to make teams feel cared for.It’s imperative you keep the forward momentum of your life in order to positively affect the forward momentum of those in your circles.Happiness is not just a mood, it’s a work ethic. Posisphere incorporates action steps and shows you:

  • ”  How to overcome the languishing effects of negative thoughts.
  • ”  How to physically train our minds to get stuck in positivity.
  • ”  How to tap into internal resources and increase spikes in happiness.
  • ”  Achieve goals.
  • ”  Set new habits.
  • ”  How to alter perceptions when stuck in negativity.
  • ”  How to lead teams into positive success patterns.
  • ”  How to move from adversity to opportunity.
  • ”  Understand your signature strengths.
Optimistic mindsets are open. When you are open to receiving more information you are able to learn more and see more opportunity.In addition to broadening our intellectual capabilities and creative capacities, positive emotions also provide a swift antidote to physical stress and anxiety, what psychologists call “the undoing effect”. This in turn improves our focus and our ability to function at our best level.When small stresses pile up over time, as they so often do in the workplace, it only takes a minor annoyance or irritation to lose control; in other words, to let the part of our brain that reacts with emotion take over. When this “emotional hijacking” occurs we might lash out at a colleague, friend, family member or start to feel helpless and overwhelmed or suddenly lose all energy and motivation.As a result our decision-making skills, productivity, and effectiveness plummet. This can have real consequences not just for individuals but for entire teams of organizations.At one large company, researchers found that managers who felt the most swamped by job pressure ran teams with the worst performance and the lowest net profits.
A failing economy can be a powerful trigger for emotional hijacking too.Neuroscientists have found that financial losses are processed in the same areas of brain that respond to mortal danger. – When our brain hits the panic button, reason goes out the window and our wallets, our careers, and our bottom lines suffer.
Manage overwhelm by learning effective methods to take on any challenge we set for ourselves and provide you with tools to help you overcome obstacles, reverse bad habits, become more efficient, and productive, make the most of opportunities, and help you conquer your ambitious goals – in life and work.ACTION STEP 1:List it Out.Employ any number of techniques to boost positivity and build confidence. There are a number of proven ways we can improve our moods and raise our levels of happiness throughout the day.Gratitude List
Pick the same time each day to write down your gratitude list, and keep the necessary items easily accessible and convenient.
-It doesn’t matter when you do it, as long as you do it on a regular basis. It’s training and consistency that counts.OrPick a Gratitude text partner. Begin sending (and receiving) a daily gratitude text from someone you feel comfortable sharing what you’re grateful for on a daily basis. Simply text
and state what you’re grateful for. It doesn’t need to be profound as sometimes feeling grateful for our health is all we can see. Focus on what is good in your day, appreciate it, share it and stick with it for at least 21 days.Food and Exercise List
What are you putting in your body? How are you fueling the only body you’ll ever have? List it out. People who write down what they eating tend to be more conscious of their choices and ultimately make better eating decisions.Additionally list out how much exercise you’re getting per day. There are many tools, apps, and products on the market today to help keep track of your food and exercise list.LLOL List (Literally Laugh Out Loud)
Write down everything you can think of that literally makes or has made you laugh out loud. Is it a comedian? Perhaps it’s a memory of someone doing something absolutely hilarious. Or that one time when your friend did (fill in the blank). Maybe it’s a silly video that ‘s going viral. Write them down and keep the list handy to continue filling up. You’re smiling right now just imagining it.“Things do not necessarily happen for the best, but some people are able to make the best out of things that happen.” Tal Ben-Shahar“I’ve failed over and over again in my life,” Michael Jordan once said, “and that is why I succeed.” Robert F. Kennedy said much the same: “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
We can only learn to deal with failure by actually experiencing failure, by living through it. The earlier we face difficulties and drawbacks, the better prepared we are to deal with the inevitable obstacles along our path.
Action Step 2:THE LOSADA LINEIt takes about 3 positive comments, experiences, or expressions to fend off the languishing effects of 1 negative. Dip below this tipping point, now known as the Losada line, and workplace performance quickly suffers. Rise above it – ideally, the research shows, to a ratio of 6 – 1 and teams produce their very best work.Write down 3 good things from your experiences today: 1.
2.
3.Because our brain’s resources are limited, we are left with a choice: to use those finite resources to see only pain, negativity, stress, and uncertainty, or to use those resources to look at things through a lens of gratitude, hope resilience, optimism, and meaning. In other words, while we of course
can’t change reality through sheer force of will alone, we can use our brain to change how we process the world, and that in turn changes how we react to it. Happiness is not about lying to ourselves, or turning a blind eye to the negative, but about adjusting our brain so that we see the ways to rise above circumstances.Our mindset, and in turn our experience of the world, is never set in stone, but constantly in flux.Our external reality is far more malleable than many of us think, and far more dependent on the eyes through which we view it. With the right mindset, our power to dictate this reality – and in turn the results of our actions – increases exponentially.The mental construction of our daily activities, more than the activity itself, defines our reality.How much more efficient and productive (not to mention happy) could you be if you changed the way you view the hours in your workday?The most successful people adopt a mindset that not only makes their workdays more bearable, but also help them work longer, harder, and faster than their negative mindset peers.ACTION STEP 3:Getting Stuck in Positivity.
-Start making a daily list of good things in your job, your career, and your life.
-When you write down a list of “3 good things” that happened that day, your brain will be forced to scan the last 24 hours for potential positives – things that brought small or large laughs, feelings of accomplishment at work, a strengthened connection with family, a glimmer of hope for the future.In just 5 minutes a day, this trains the brain to become more skilled at noticing and focusing on possibilities for personal and professional growth, and seizing opportunities to act on them.-The items you write down each day don’t need to be profound or complicated – only specific.ACTION STEP 3.5:A variation on the 3 Good Things exercise is to write a short journal entry about a positive experience. Journaling about positive experiences has at least an equally powerful effect. In one experiment, they instructed people to write about a positive experience for 20 minutes three times a week and then compared them to a control group who wrote about neutral topics. Not only did the first group experience larger spikes in happiness, but three months later they even had fewer symptoms of illness.How much more efficient and productive (not to mention happy) could you be if you changed the way you view the hours in your workday?The most successful people adopt a mindset that not only makes their workdays more bearable, but also help them work longer, harder, and faster than their negative mindset peers.

ALTERING PERCEPTIONS

  • –  What if instead you chose to see the meeting as anopportunity, and created your own objective?
  • –  What if you forced yourself to learn 3 new things beforethe meeting ended?
  • –  What can you learn from the speaker about how to (ornot to) give a good presentation? How would youpresent this idea differently?
  • –  What’s the best way to handle difficult questions fromcolleagues?
  • –  What’s the best background color for ppt slides?When we reconnect ourselves with the pleasure of the “means”, as opposed to only focusing on the “ends”, we adopt a mindset more conducive not only to enjoyment, but to better results.Leadership Action Step 4:CHANGING THE PERSPECTIVE OF THOSE AROUND YOU.
    A few choice words can alter a person’s mindset, which in turn can alter their accomplishments. We all have the power to influence those around us – positively or negatively.Every Monday ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. Do I believe that the intelligence and skills of my employees / my team are not fixed, but can be improved with effort?
2. Do I believe that my employees / my teams wants to make that effort, just as they want to find meaning and fulfillment in their jobs?
3. How am I conveying these beliefs in my daily words and actions?Regaining Control ACTION STEP 5:The Importance of ControlFeeling that we are in control, that we are masters of our own fate at work and at home, is one of the strongest drivers of both well-being and performance.A 2002 study of nearly 3000 wage and salaried employees for the National Study of the Changing Workforce found that greater feelings of control at work predicted greater satisfaction in nearly every aspect of life: family, job, relationships, etc. People who felt in control at work, also had lower levels of stress, work-family conflicts and job turnover.Interestingly, psychologists have found that these kinds of gains in productivity, happiness, and health have less to do with how much control we actually have and more with how much control we “think” we have.The world is shaped largely by our mindset.
The most successful people, in work and in life, are those who have what psychologists call an “internal locus of control”, the belief that their actions have a direct effect on
their outcomes. People with an external locus, on the other hand, are more likely to see daily events as dictated by external forces.Believing that, for the most part, our actions determine our fates in life can only spur us to work harder; and when we see this hard work pay off, our belief in ourselves only grows stronger.This is true in nearly every domain in life. Research has shown that people who believe that the power lies within their circle have higher academic achievement, greater career achievement, and are much happier at work.Because feeling in control over our jobs and our lives reduces stress, it even affects our physical health. One study of 7400 employees found that those who felt they had little control over deadlines imposed by other people had a 50% higher risk of coronary heart disease than their counterparts. In fact this effect was so staggering, researchers concluded that feeling a lack of control over pressure at work is “as great” a risk factor for heart disease as even high blood pressure.“Emotional Intelligence” Daniel GolemanWhen small stresses pile up over time, as they so often do in the workplace, it only takes a minor annoyance or irritation to lose control; in other words, to let the part of our brain that reacts with emotion take over. When this “emotional hijacking” occurs we might lash out at a colleague, friend, family member or start to feel helpless and overwhelmed or suddenly lose all energy and motivation.
As a result our decision-making skills, productivity, and effectiveness plummet. This can have real consequences not just for individuals, but for entire teams of organizations. At one large company, researchers found that managers who felt the most swamped by job pressure ran teams with the worst performance and the lowest net profits.
A failing economy can be a powerful trigger for emotional hijacking too.Neuroscientists have found that financial losses are processed in the same areas of brain that respond to mortal danger. – When our brain hits the panic button, reason goes out the window and our wallets, our careers, and our bottom lines suffer.1. The first goal we need to conquer is self-awareness.

  1. a)  Identify how you are feeling and put it intowords.
  2. b)  Write in a journal or talk to a trusted co-workeror confidant.
  3. c)  Verbalizing the stress and helplessness you arefeeling is the first step toward regaining control.

2. Identify which aspects of the situation you have control over and which you don’t.Write out all your stresses, daily challenges and goals and separate them into two categories:a) Things you have control over
b) Things you don’t have control over
This action will help you identify the areas we have to let go of because they’re out of our hands, while identifying the areas where our efforts will have a real impact, so we can then focus our energy accordingly.

3. Once your list of items still within your control is established identify one small goal you know you can immediately and quickly accomplish.
4. Concentrate your efforts on small areas where youknow you can make a difference. By tackling one small challenge at a time, like a narrow circle that slowly expands outward, we can RELEARN that our actions do have a direct effect on our outcomes, that we are largely the masters of our own fates.Unfortunately, when it comes to work we are often faced with unreasonable expectations – both those we set for ourselves and those others set for us. But when our goals are unrealizable, we run the risk of ending up frustrated, dejected, and stuck.In today’s results-obsessed workplace, it’s no wonder we’re impatient and overly ambitious. We want to be the top salesman or earn the highest bonus or have the biggest office – and we want it now. Feelings that result from frustrated attempts and overwhelming stressors highjack our brain, jumpstarting that vicious and insidious cycle of helplessness that puts our goals further out of reach.Psychologists who specialize in goal-setting theory advocate setting goals of moderate difficulty – not so easy that we don’t have to try, but no so difficult that we get discouraged and give up.Daniel Coyle, “The Talent Code”
No matter how small the circle, it can lead to big returns. The strategy of “finding and improving small problems” has helped businesses flourish.
Small successes can add up to major achievements. All it takes is drawing that first circle.Action Step 6:By changing the way we perceive our work, we can dramatically improve our results.FINDING OUR CALLING We view our work as: Job
CareerCalling

  • –  People with a job see work as a chore and their paycheck as a reward.
  • –  People who view their work as a career work not only out of necessity, but also to advance and succeed. They are invested in their work and want to do well.
  • –  People with a calling view work as an end in itself; their work is fulfilling not because of external rewards but because they feel it contributes to the greater good, draws upon their personal strengths, and gives them meaning and purpose. As a result, these are the people who are generally more likely to get ahead.YOUR CALLING

– A calling orientation can have just as much to do withmindset as it does with the actual work being done.

– If you can’t make actual changes to your daily work (because you need your job), ask yourself what potential meaning and pleasure already exists in what you do.ACTION STEP: A Calling Description

  • –  Rewrite your job description. Think about how yourdaily work tasks might be written in a way that wouldentice others to apply for the job.
  • –  The goal is not to misrepresent the work you do, but tohighlight the meaning that can be derived from it.
  • –  Think of your own personal goals in life. How can yourcurrent job tasks be connected to this larger purpose?ACTION STEP: A Calling Description Outlined
  • –  Turn a piece of paper horizontally, and on the left handside, write down a task you’re forced to perform at work that feels devoid of meaning. Then ask yourself: “What is the purpose of this task?” “What will it accomplish?”
  • –  Draw an arrow to the right and write this answer down. If what you wrote still seems unimportant ask yourself again; “What does this result lead to?” Draw another arrow and write this down.
  • –  Keep going until you get to a result that is meaningful to you. In this way you can connect every small thing you do to a larger picture, to a goal that keeps you motivated and energized.[MEANING MAKES MONEY – GUY KAWASAKI]ACTION STEP 7:
“Selective Perception” = when we are looking for something we see it everywhere.Close your eyes and think of the color red. Really picture it in your mind’s eye. Now open your eyes and look around the room. Is red popping out at you everywhere? Your heightened perception is due only to your change in focus. Repeated studies have shown that two people can view the same situation and actually see different things, depending on what they are expecting to see. It’s not just that they come away with different interpretations of the same event, but that they have actually seen different things in their visual field.While there are always different ways of seeing something, not all ways of seeing are created equal.-For people stuck in a negative mindset the consequences can be debilitating to both our happiness and our work performance. On the other hand, imagine a way of seeing that constantly picked up on the positives in every situation.
The goal of the positive mindset:-Instead of creating a cognitive pattern that looks for negatives and blocks success, it trains our brains to scan the world for the opportunities and ideas that allow our success rate to grow.When our brains constantly scan for and focus on the positive, we profit from 3 of the most important tools available to us:1. Happiness 2. Gratitude 3. Optimism
The role HAPPINESS plays should be obvious – the more you pick up on the positive around you, the better you’ll feel.GRATITUDE: The more opportunities for positivity we see, the more grateful we become. Countless studies have shown that consistently grateful people are more energetic, emotionally intelligent, forgiving and less likely to be depressed, anxious or lonely.OPTIMISM: The more your brain picks up on the positive the more you’ll expect this trend to continue, and so the more optimistic you’ll be. And optimism, it turns out, is a tremendously powerful predictor of work performance. Studies have shown that optimists set more goals (and more difficult goals) than pessimists, and put more effort into attaining those goals, stay more engaged in the face of difficulty, and rise above obstacles more easily.Expecting positive outcomes actually makes them more likely to arise.When someone is stuck in Negativity their brain is quite literally incapable of seeing opportunities. But armed with positivity, the brain stays open to possibility. Psychologists call this “Predictive Encoding”: Priming yourself to expect a favorable outcome actually encodes your brain to recognize the outcome when it does in fact arise.Action Step 8:EXPLANATORY STYLE: An Explanatory style is how we choose to explain the nature of positive events. This has a
crucial impact on our happiness and future success.Most professionals face daily setbacks, but the life of a salesman is, almost by definition, fraught with failure and rejection. In many businesses, only one in ten pitches leads to a sale, meaning that those salesmen experience rejection 90% of the time. Hence the high turnover in sales industries.Research showed that feelings of distress and helplessness set in after salesmen faced setback after setback yet a consistent minority seemed immune. What was subsequently discovered was that the “immune” group shared a positive way of interpreting adversity – or what is termed an “optimistic explanatory style”.Beliefs directly affect actions. Virtually all avenues of success, are dictated by an explanatory style.Testing revealed that sales agents with more optimistic styles sold 37% more than those with pessimistic ones and were 1⁄2 as likely to quit.One way to help ourselves see the path from adversity to opportunity is to practice the ABCD model of interpretation: Adversity
BeliefConsequence DisputationADVERSITY: The event we can’t change; it is what it is.BELIEF: Our reaction to the event; why we thought it happened and what we think it means for the future.
-Is it a problem that is only temporary and local in nature or do we think it is permanent and pervasive? -Are there ready solutions, or do we think it is unsolvable?If we believe Adversity is short-term or as an opportunity for growth or appropriately confined to only part of our life – then we maximize the chance of Positive CONSEQUENCE.
But if BELIEF has led us down a more pessimistic path, helplessness and inaction can bring negativeCONSEQUENCES.
Then it’s time for DISPUTATION: Disputation involves first telling ourselves that our belief is just that – a belief – not a fact – and then challenging it (disputing) it.How to use ABCD:
Psychologists recommend we externalize this voice. Ask yourself:

  1. What is the evidence for this belief?
  2. Is it airtight?
  3. Would we let a friend get away with such

reasoning?
4. Is the reasoning clearly specious once we step outside of ourselves and take a look?
5. What are some other plausible interpretations of this event?

  1. What are some more adaptive reactions to it?
  2. Is there another counterfactual we can adopt

instead?Just knowing this quirk of human psychology – that our fear of consequences is always worse than the consequences themselves – can help us move toward a more optimistic

interpretation of the downs we will inevitably face.HABITS“Common Sense is not Common Action”
Does common knowledge make doing things any easier? No, because in life, knowledge is only part of the battle. Without action, knowledge is often meaningless. As Aristotle put it, “To be excellent we cannot simply think or feel excellent, we must act excellently.”Humans are mere bundles of habit. Which is why we rarely stop and think about the enormous role they play in shaping our behavior, and in fact our lives.Given our natural tendency to act out of habit the key to sustaining positive change is to turn each desired action into a habit, so that it would come automatically without much effort.If we want to create lasting change we should “make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy.”Habits are like financial capital – forming one today is an investment that will automatically give out returns for years to come.Good habits are the answer but how do we create them in the first place? “A tendency to act only becomes effectively ingrained in us in proportion to uninterrupted frequency with which the actions actually occur, and the brain ‘grows’ to their use.
The invisible pull toward the path of least resistance can dictate more of our lives than we realize, creating an impassable barrier to change and positive growth.In short, DISTRACTION, always just one click away, has become the path of least resistance.ACTION STEP 9:Put the DESIRED behavior on the path of least resistance so it takes less energy and effort. “Lowering the barrier to change by just 20 seconds was all it took to form a new habit.”Lower the activation energy for habits you want to adopt, and raise it for habits you want to avoid. The more we can lower or even eliminate the activation energy for our desired actions, the more we enhance our ability to jump start positive change.Our best weapon in battle against bad habits is simply to make it harder for ourselves to succumb to them.Self-control is a limited resource that gets weakened with overuse. Too much choice similarly saps our reserves. With every additional choice people are asked to make, their physical stamina, ability to perform numerical calculations, persistence in the face of failure, and overall focus drop dramatically.Once your brain has tipped toward a habit, it will naturally keep rolling in that direction, following the path of least resistance.
The less energy it takes to kick start a positive habit, the more likely that habit will stick.Rules are especially helpful during the first few days of a behavior-changing venture, when it’s easier to stray off course.The key to creating these habits is ritual, repeated practice, until the actions become ingrained in your brains neural chemistry. And the key to daily practice is to put your desired actions as close to the path of least resistance as humanly possible.Identify the activation energy a) the timeb) the choicesc) the mental & physical effort they require Then reduce it.If you can cut the activation energy for those habits that lead to success, even by as little as 20 seconds at a time, it won’t be long before you start reaping their benefits.ACTION Step 10:LISTENING
Gables studies have shown that active-construction responding enhances relationship commitment and satisfaction, and fuels the degree to which people feel understood, validated and cared for during a discussion.
If you’re a leader, you not only have the power to strengthen your own connections, but to foster a work environment that values, instead of hinders, social investment.The more attentive we are to the relationship dynamics of our teams, the better.
Many people listen as if waiting for an opportunity to make their own point. Instead focus on the speaker and their own opinion, then ask interested questions to learn more.ACTION Step 11:WorkplaceThe power to spark positive emotional contagion multiplies if you are in a leadership position. Studies have found that when leaders are in a positive mood, their employees or teams are more likely to be in a positive mood themselves, to exhibit pro-social helping behaviors toward one another, and to coordinate tasks more efficiently with less effort.Even the smallest moments of positivity in the workplace can enhance efficiency, motivation, creativity and productivity.

  • –  Provide frequent recognition and encouragement
  • –  Project teams with encouraging managers performed31% better than teams whose managers were less positive and less open with praise. In fact, when recognition is specific and deliberately delivered, it is even more motivating than money.Frequent recognition and feedback.
    Not only can it raise a team above the Losada line, but delivering specific and authentic praise for a job well done also strengthens the connection between two people.
Write an email of thanks or praise to a friend, family member or colleague each morning before they start their days work – not just because it contributes to their own happiness, but because it very literally cements a relationship. Whether the “thank you” is for years of emotional support or for one day of help, expressions of gratitude sparks an upward spiral of relationship growth where each individual feels motivated to strengthen the bond.In everyday life, both at work and at home, our social support can prove the difference between succumbing to the cult of the average and achieving our fullest potential.SPIRALING UPWARD
The whole process starts with your brain. Your thoughts and actions are constantly shaping and reshaping the neural pathways in the brain.The more you practice the more you shift your mindset toward the positive, the more your cement these habits for the long haul. As your brain becomes more adept at one habit, it improves your ability to capitalize on another.Studies have shown that when three strangers meeting in a room, the most emotionally expressive person transmits his or her mood to the others within just two minutes.“Like secondhand smoke, the leakage of emotions can make a bystander an innocent casualty of someone else’s toxic state.”
Positive emotion contagion starts when people subconsciously mimic the body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions of those around them.While authentic positivity will always trump it’s faux counterpart, there is significant evidence that changing your behavior first – even your facial expression and posture – can dictate emotional change.Incorporating positive emotional contagion can affect both the individual and performance of those all around.When we model the type of mindset and habits that fuel high performance, we are in effect instilling these very mindsets and habits in our colleagues, friends and loved ones.SOCIAL INVESTMENTIn the midst of challenges and stress at work, nothing is more crucial to our success than holding on to the people around us.Instead of withdrawing during times of stress and challenges – instead of DIVESTING – the most successful people actually hold tighter to their social support…they invest. Not only are these people happier, but they are more productive, engaged, energetic and resilient.When we have a community of people we can count on – spouse, family, friends, colleagues – we multiply our emotional, intellectual, and physical resources. We bounce

back from setbacks faster, accomplish more and feel a greater sense of purpose.When we make a positive social connection, the pleasure- inducing hormone oxytocin is released into our bloodstream, immediately releasing anxiety and improving concentration and focus. Each social connection also bolsters our cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and immune systems, so that the more connections we make over time, the better we function.Individuals who invest in their social support systems are simply better equipped to thrive in the most difficult circumstances, while those who withdraw from the people around them effectively cut off every line of protection they have available, at the very moment they need them most.Organizational psychologists have found that even brief encounters can form openness, energy and authenticity among coworkers, and in turn lead to a whole host of measureable, tangible gains in performance.

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