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Positive Psychology at Work

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Positive Psychology at Work
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Positive Psychology at Work

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Positive psychology is a revolutionary new field that studies the root causes of happiness, productivity, and success. In this program, you’ll have an opportunity to practice proven techniques to:

Consciously direct your thoughts towards creative, adaptive, constructive behaviors
Communicate to build relationships and motivate colleagues and staff
Shift conversations from problems to solutions
Take risks to increase energy and revitalize the workday

Positive psychology is a revolutionary new field that studies the root causes of happiness, productivity, and success. In this program, you’ll have an opportunity to practice proven techniques to:

Consciously direct your thoughts towards creative, adaptive, constructive behaviors
Communicate to build relationships and motivate colleagues and staff
Shift conversations from problems to solutions
Take risks to increase energy and revitalize the workday

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Positive Psychology at Work

  1. 1. Positive Psychology at Work Kevin R. Thomas Manager, Training & Development x3542 Kevin.R.Thomas@Williams.edu
  2. 2. Agenda • What is Positive Psychology? • Experiments With Positivity • The Flow State • Self-Care At Work • Managing With Positive Psychology • Positive Psychology for Organizations
  3. 3. WHAT IS POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY?
  4. 4. What is Positive Psychology? • Concerned with strength • Building the best things with life • Making lives of normal people fulfilling • Nurturing high talent • Investigating positive outliers
  5. 5. Reversing the formula • Success does not create happiness • Positivity increases our chances for success • Optimisim: – Increases motivation – Increases sales productivity Optimistic salespeople sell 35% more insurance than pessimists. – Improves physical health
  6. 6. EXPERIMENTS WITH POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
  7. 7. Experiments With Positive Psychology • 3 Gratitudes • Journaling • Meditation • Appreciation Letters • Cognitive Training for Optimism • Change Your Questions, Change Your Life
  8. 8. 3 Gratitudes • Trains the brain to scan for the positive
  9. 9. Journaling • Allows your brain to relive a positive experience
  10. 10. Meditation • Meditation is scientifically proven to help: – Overcome stress – Decrease blood pressure – Boost creativity – Cultivate healthy habits – Increase focus and attention
  11. 11. Pro-Social Generosity: Appreciation Letters • Experiment: – Money spent pro-socially creates more happiness than money spent selfishly. – Encouraging pro-social behavior enhances team productivity – Appreciation letters increase happiness
  12. 12. Cognitive Training for Optimism 1. Identify self-defeating beliefs 2. Gather evidence to evaluate accuracy of self- defeating beliefs. 3. Replace maladaptive thoughts with more constructive and accurate beliefs.
  13. 13. Change Your Questions, Change Your Life
  14. 14. THE FLOW STATE
  15. 15. The Flow State: Focusing for Engagement • Intrinsic Motivation • Concentration w/ no distractions • Complete immersion • Clear set of goals that require appropriate responses • High skill level, high challenge level
  16. 16. Getting to Know Your Strengths • Pair up. • Think of a time when you felt most happy in your career – a time when you were having fun and doing a great job. • Explore with your partner: – What created the sense of happiness and fulfillment – What did you do that contributed to the sense of happiness and fulfillment? – How did the workplace facilitate this experience? – What skills or strengths did you use? – How could you plan to have an experience like this one more time?
  17. 17. Making Choices • Self-efficacy: Believing in our capacity to produce desired effects • Self-efficacy determines what choices we give ourselves and how much we persevered. • The more choices we make, the more we can build our self-efficacy.
  18. 18. Thoughts that enhance intrinsic motivation Procrastinators Producers I have to. I must finish. This project is so big and important. I must be perfect. I don’t have time for fun. I choose to. When can I start? I can take one small step. I can be perfectly human. I must enjoy myself. In Sum: I have to finish something big and do it perfectly by working hard for long periods of time without ever having fun. In Sum: I choose to start on one small step, knowing I have plenty of time for play.
  19. 19. Priming your brain for concentration and immersion • 3 breaths: letting go of the past • 3 breaths: letting go of the future • 3 breaths: coming into the present moment • 3 breaths: arriving at the right level of energy, creativity, concentration, etc. • Visualize success
  20. 20. Kenken • Now solve the puzzle. • Notice your thoughts and feelings • Any difference from the first time?
  21. 21. Timing High Effort Tasks • David Rock: Your Brain At Work • I’ll start as soon as I finish – … my email – … my filing • Instead, start early, while you have the energy • Use the low energy task as a relaxing “reward”
  22. 22. SELF-CARE AT WORK
  23. 23. What is your work ethic?
  24. 24. Our High Performance Culture
  25. 25. Everyday Awards
  26. 26. Self-Care at Work • Acknowledging your needs for: – Socializing – Rest – Play – Reflection
  27. 27. I am going to try this someday …
  28. 28. MANAGING WITH POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
  29. 29. Appreciative Management • Show appreciation for desired work behaviors – University employees who heard messages of gratitude from their supervisor made 50% more fund- raising calls than those who did not. – Be specific about the behavior and the positive outcome – Praise frequently, for both big and small things – Praise poor performers when you catch them doing something right. – Make recognition public so the group sees what gets rewarded.
  30. 30. 3 Motivators • Autonomy • Mastery • Purpose
  31. 31. POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY FOR ORGANIZATIONS
  32. 32. Positive Approaches to Organizations
  33. 33. Positive Deviance • Community engages to identify a problem • Seek out those who succeed even facing the same challenges • Surface and spread the story of what works • Empower members at all levels of the community to lead.
  34. 34. Thank You! • Program evaluation link will be emailed to you today. Kevin R. Thomas Manager, Training & Development x3542 kevin.r.thomas@williams.edu

Notas del editor

  • http://www.ted.com/talks/martin_seligman_on_the_state_of_psychology/ (4:15)
    http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work
    https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_norton_how_to_buy_happiness
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eik2syOmwSM&feature=youtu.be&t=32s
    http://youtu.be/u6XAPnuFjJc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1_Xu_VxnJ8&feature=youtu.be
  • http://www.ted.com/talks/martin_seligman_on_the_state_of_psychology/ (4:15)
    http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work
  • https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_norton_how_to_buy_happiness
    If short on time go to 7:40.
  • People want to be free. They automatically resist intimidation and control.
    The brain interprets “Have To” as a message of intimidation and control. The result: Resistance.
    The brain interprets “Choose To” as a message of freedom and empowerment. The result: Energy and Motivation.
    Read power if choice story 65-66

    The brain is not equipped for finishing:
    Example: Finish my needs assessment report perfectly before I do anything else.
    The brain accepts concrete instructions for starting:
    Example: Sit at my desk, gather my notes, open up my needs assessment folder, and open a new Word document.

    When we say “this must be perfect”, the brain perceives a threat (“What if it’s not? How could it possibly be?”). The result: fight, flight, or freeze
    When we say “Let me just start a very rough draft,” the brain perceives safety and its higher functions are available.

    When we say “I must finish before I do anything fun,” the brain hears that pleasure is being withdrawn as a result of this activity. The result: resistance.
    When we schedule play and social activities first, the brain knows that pleasure is guaranteed. The result: willingness.


  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eik2syOmwSM&feature=youtu.be&t=32s
  • http://youtu.be/u6XAPnuFjJc
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1_Xu_VxnJ8&feature=youtu.be

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