Category Archives: Positivity

Empowered Collaboration – Part 1

When a person says something “changed my life” it gets my attention. I was at a professional meeting and the woman speaking was talking about something called mPWR10

mPWR10  is a 10-minute-per-day tool created by Nancy Donahue and Michelle Chung that teaches six habits distilled from the research on positive and peak performance psychology. After testing the product and finding it very valuable, we were very curious about how they collaborated on its creation. We set up a phone interview to explore what the keys were to their collaboration. Over the next three blog posts, we will report on the 10 practices Nancy and Michelle cited as keys to their collaboration.

  1. Keep track of the passion that brought you together

At the beginning of their collaboration, both women were employees of another firm. When that firm experienced manufacturing difficulties and eventually collapsed, it would have been easy to seek employment elsewhere. Start-up cash-flow challenges could have led them to drop their collaboration, but Nancy and Michelle calmed their uneasiness by hunkering down and focusing on the reason for their collaboration – a passion for supporting people’s success. They launched mPWR10.

  1. Know your value proposition

Michelle and Nancy are both expert synthesizers of information. Their capacity to glean the most important threads from the science of positive and peak performance psychology allowed them to create a simplified, accessible and practical set of habits. From the reactions of others, they learned that this talent was critical to the value they could create.  A client told them that with mPWR10, “I can throw away all the other books I have.”

3.  Seek input freely and widely

“Our goal was to collaborate with everyone since we knew we didn’t have all of the answers”, said Michelle. They drew in other smart people such as Joe Dowling, a peak-performance psychologist, and sought feedback from 500-600 mPWR10 users. The 6 habits evolved because so many people have used it and shared their experience and suggestions.

Read the next post to learn 3 more collaboration practices.

Debbie

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Enhance positivity through meetings

Many of my business clients report that an average day is spent going from meeting to meeting.  Some would say that half of their life is spent attending, conducting,  preparing or following up from meetings.   It would therefore seem sensible to assume that if you want to build more positivity in your  workplace, a good place to focus would be in the way meetings are conducted.

In our last blog post, we reported research that linked positivity in a team with the incidence of positive statements made, the degree that the statements are about others and the amount of questions that are exchanged among group members. Here are some tips that may help you put this into action during the meetings you lead.

Meetings can enhance positivity.

1.  Open each meeting asking for recent accomplishments.  “What has happened that you feel good about and want others on the team to know?” In my experience this type of question elicits the telling of stories that help to build a group’s sense of success.

2.  Have a standing agenda item – “Way to go!”.  Ask for people to share personal compliments for others who have demonstrated collaboration or some other high-priority behavior.  In a local medical-surgical nursing unit, this tip is being used to increase the level of coordinated care provided to patients. Compliments help to remind us of our strengths and create stronger relationships with others.

3.  Periodically, use a portion of a meeting for everyone to have 5-10 minutes to check in with every other member.  These “Check Ins” can be structured to cover a specific set of questions aimed at increasing connectivity and positive regard:  What is going well in our relationship? What strengths have I noticed you exhibiting?  What can we create that will enhance our effectiveness?

In future posts we will be offering tips about how to increase inquiry in your teams.  What can you share to get us started?

Maddie Hunter

4 tips for becoming happier

peyri from Flickr's Creative Commons

I’ve been noticing how happy many of the members of my cancer support group seem.  Yes, we have fears about our diagnosis, strange side-effects from the treatments we elect and frustrations at our experiences with the many medical professionals we lean on for our care.  However, when we get together smiles abound and laughs flow freely. How does this happen?

1.  Reach out to others. We share our cancer experience. There are positive sensations  that come from social interactions.  When I step into our support group meeting room, I feel an instant lift of my spirits.  Many of us believe that these positive connections help to extend our lives.  Even outside of my cancer experience, I find  spending time with a friend or colleague to often turn a frustrated mood into a more relaxed one.   Connecting with others definitely raises my happiness quotient.

2.  Chose to act happy – Acting happy is likely to make you feel happy according to an article in   Psychology Today. I know this from coaching clients who are working on trying a new behavior.  Acting confident before you completely believe it can often result in your not only appearing confident but experiencing yourself in a new way too.  The more one acts in the new way, the more the behavior becomes the new normal. Many of my fellow cancer survivors have just decided to live their days being happy.

3.  Share what you  know. Offering what you have learned really make a difference to others.  As we share the ins and outs of our medical journeys,  we feel great to be in a group that cares and will listen to anything we offer.  The magic happens when the thing one person shares about their experience becomes the missing link of information or inspiration for someone else.

Alieness GiselaGiardino

4.  Be grateful.  Many who have been given a serious health diagnosis report that the experience gives almost instant clarity about what is truly important in life. The little things of life take on big meaning.  Gratefulness for each breath, each day and each moment of enjoyment is more easily expressed.  We say, “Life is precious” and really mean it.  Many of  us become savorers of life.  Life becomes juicy in new ways.  I am filled with a sense of contentment when I focus on the people, places and things for which I am thankful.  Being grateful makes me so happy.

What enables you to be happy?