I recently watched a video from TED Talks about happiness and productivity. If you haven’t seen the video “The Happy Secret to Better Work”, by Shawn Achor, then take 13 minutes to watch it…I’ll wait.
Okay, I hope you enjoyed the video. That video inspired me to write this post. For those of you that know me, I’m an eternal optimist – I try to find the positive in everything. For me, to learn that there is research that supports focusing on the positive is great.
Re-live Positive Experiences
Shawn recommends journaling about at least 1 positive experience each day, so that your brain can re-live those experiences. According to Shawn’s research, your brain performs significantly better when you are being positive – you are 31% more productive.
Imagine if an entire team was sharing positive experiences, and the entire team was re-living each of those experiences. This could drastically change the productivity of the entire team. And by doing so, we can create ripples of positivity and productivity.
If you have a lesson-learned that you would like to share, talk about it as if it is a fact (it is history, after all), and try to avoid stirring up unnecessary emotions from the past. Instead, talk about what you learned, or how you overcame the issue. It’s easier to find the positive when you focus on what you learned, instead of the problem.
Another approach is to try and “right-size” the problems. Mark Nepo has a neat story about right-sizing your problems - a handful of salt in a glass of water, the water tastes salty; whereas, a handful of salt in a lake, the water tastes fresh. When you right-size the problem, you realize that it isn’t the end of the world, and it is easier to find the positive.
How to Practice Positive
Let’s take baby steps. Start by talking about something positive that happened earlier that day, or the previous day, so that the entire team can re-live that positive experience.
If your team meets on a regular basis, like a stand-up meeting, perhaps you can recommend that each person shares a positive experience.
I am going to channel “Amy-the-unicorn”, and start practicing positive…what about you?