One of my recent articles focused on Emotional Intelligence and how individuals who score highly are most likely to achieve more and be successful in both their businesses and personal lives.
Although my work with clients is focused on facts, figures, strategy, operations, marketing, sales and creating an efficient and meticulously detailed set of business processes, success and achieving high growth still require the business owner to not only lead, they also need to project positive emotions in the working environment. This attitude can be infectious and nurture members of staff to become leaders. Every business needs people who are going to lead and thrive on making decisions, seeking a continuous sense of self-worth and gratification that coincides with a positive influence on the business.
Positive emotions, or psychology in the work place, create a focused approach to every task, despite the perceived importance. Projecting positive emotions enhances wellbeing and promotes greater performance levels, continually empowering people to flourish and thrive.
The theory behind the research
In a normal corporate or business environment, positive emotions engineer a shift in the approach to how people work, focusing primarily on strengths rather than the traditional and reactive approach of “fixing what’s wrong”. It is designed to deliver an enhanced outcome rather than just providing the fix.
Barbara Frederickson, who is dominant in the field of positive emotions and a leading psychologist, calls it the Broaden & Build theory. Her theory concludes that positive emotions broaden our vision and awareness, encouraging us to find solutions more easily and valuable to an organisation. In turn, this builds our skills and resources to encourage new learning.
It creates greater focus on the task in hand with a feeling of ‘being in the zone’, resulting in greater engagement which, in turn, leads to increased success and productivity.
What does the Positive Psychology research say?
- Positive emotions moderate the impact of stressful events on coping ability. This leads to psychological and physical wellbeing
- Positivity at work leads to enhanced self-efficacy – which increases job/relationship satisfaction and mental health
- Identifying different ways to achieve a goal can help improve people’s flexibility and ability to overcome obstacles that get in the way of achievement
The research demonstrated that simply learning positive emotional strengths makes individuals 7.8% more productive and, in a team environment that shares this process and focuses on strengths rather than the fix, the team is 12-15% more productive.
What are the other benefits?
Motivation - Performance has far too much focus on weaknesses and underperformance rather than recognition of strengths. It’s not a process of ignoring weaknesses but building recognition on areas of improvement. This creates a more positive environment that, in turn, enhances motivation. The outcome is improved performance, higher degrees of motivation and taking responsibility for that performance.
Trust– When an organisation analyses stress, middle management is invariably demonstrating the most stressed individuals in that organisation. As important team members, they can have little control over performance but take responsibility for delivering results. Handling these important individuals who are, in most organisations major assets to the business, is very important. They are expected to be leaders but require the trust from the business leader and should be given autonomy to make important decisions.
Flourish & Thrive– Creating a culture of positive emotions to induce greater wellbeing of staff helps them to become more resilient, providing a platform for individual growth. It creates a culture of openness amongst your team and greater willingness to ask questions to develop their skills. An environment that further encourages individuals to thrive and flourish within their roles in the business.
My work with key members of your team
As part of the business’s growth plans, it is extremely important to create a culture within the business that not only promotes planned growth, it makes people become part of that vision. I not only work with the business leader, part of what I do involves working with middle management, or key members of your team, to nurture their progress as an important asset and member of staff.