Positivity for Productivity

Positivity Workshop
for the workplace and beyond
Presented by Iris Hsu
 What is Positive Psychology?
 A scientifically-based study of human strengths, happiness, and thriving
(living at maximum potential)
 Who founded Positive Psychology?
 With roots starting many decades ago, Dr. Martin Seligman (recent
president of the American Psychological Association) made it the theme
of his presidency. Where psychology previously focused on illnesses, Dr.
Seligman believed in studying the scientific reasons for well-being and
potential. It is the “bright” side of psychology.
 What is the Benefit in Understanding the Power of Positivity?
 In many ways, the “bad” can seem stronger than the “good,” so we
must retrain our minds to focus on the positives to achieve our potential
 There is benefit to be reached in your career, your relationships, and
your personal life satisfaction
The Meaningful Life
Eudaimonic Happiness: Expression and fulfillment of your inner
potentials (daimon: true self, eudaimonia: happiness)
 Strongly related to feelings of:
Opportunity for Personal Growth
Opportunity for Skill Development
(Baumgardner & Crothers 2009, p. 19)
Positivity Your Health
 Emotions and Physical Health
 Multiple pathways and mechanisms that link emotions to
 Positive emotional states contribute to the enhancement of
our health resources
 Negative emotions cause depletion of health resources
 Emotions and Mental Health
 Positive emotions enhance resilience, which is the ability to
bounce back from stressful events and regain composure and
a sense of well-being
 Positive emotions can create an upward spiral of well-being,
just as depression can create a downward spiral of negativity
and pessimism
(Baumgardner & Crothers 2009, p. 45)
The Upward Spiral
 Negative Emotions
 Tend to narrow our thoughts
 When angry or fearful, we become
self-focused and get tunnel vision
 Positive Emotions
 Opens up thinking to a wider array of
possible actions (open-mindedness
may result from decreasing less selffocused)
 Builds intellectual resources
 Results in an upward spiral
Experience Repertoires
of Positive
People and
(Baumgardner & Crothers 2009, p. 39-41)
If Only I Had More Money …
 We talk about it, but can we really buy happiness?
 Studies shoes that people at every income level felt they would
be happier if they were in the next higher income level.
 Does happiness really increase with income?
 Time Magazine study conducted in the US found that happiness and
income increased until an annual income of $50k. After $50k,
increased income resulted in no appreciable effect on happiness.
 A 50 year study by Diener and Seligman analyzed a 50-year trend in
American GNP and our average life satisfaction. GNP tripled, while
average life satisfaction stayed constant - flat line.
(Baumgardner & Crothers 2009, p. 103)
If Only I Had More Money …(cont.)
 Key Takeaways
 Money in and of itself is not a bad thing. We need it
for daily living.
 BUT … Don’t fall for the concept that more income
will buy you happiness. Focusing on money and
materialism can lead to an emptier and less fulfilling
life. Increasing dissatisfaction can lead to a
downward spiral.
 You most likely make more than $50k. Studies
show that you’re not going to be happier with more
money. Do what you enjoy, grow, and be happy.
(Baumgardner & Crothers 2009, p. 101-103)
Coping with Stress
 Three Examples of Coping Methods
1. Problem-Focused Coping
 Behaviors directed at altering, reducing, or eliminating the
source of stress
 Seeking concrete help
 Taking action to change a stressful situation
 Evaluating alternatives
2. Emotion-Focused Coping
 Attempt to change or reduce one’s own response to a
stressful experience
 Seeking emotional support from others
 Venting in a productive manner
 Positive Self-Talk (i.e. stating the things for which you are
thankful, skills you have, etc.)
(Baumgardner & Crothers 2009, p. 46)
Coping with Stress cont.
3. Proactive Coping
 Efforts to prevent stress from happening to start with
 Finishing work in advance
 Anticipating future issues and sources of stress and acting
upon them in advance
 Positive Emotions as a Coping Resource
 When a positive attitude exists in difficult circumstances, the
negativity is buffered
 Leads to more prevention ideas
 Leads to flexibility and creativity in problem solving
(Baumgardner & Crothers 2009, p. 45)
Summarizing the Benefits of
Improved Mental Health
Improved Physical Health
Increased Problem-Solving Abilities
Increased Life Satisfaction
Increased Creativity
Improved Relationships at Work and Home
Increased Life Fulfillment
Putting It Into Action:
Venting Workshop Activity
 Emotion-Focused Coping
 We will try the “Venting” method 
 Complete the next slide with the one item from work about
which you really want to vent, and list details about the issue
 Don’t be shy! Express yourself freely in this productive
 High-Level Ideas for Venting (but be specific when you
 Processes
 Tools
 Bureaucracy
 Workload
Venting Session
Venting List: DCCP
Tool crashes too much
The choices don’t match the technology
It doesn’t allow customer user entry
Putting It Into Action:
Reinventing Workshop Activity
 Making it Positive and Productive
 For every detailed issue you listed in the Venting Session, list a
parallel action you can take to positively affect it
 These actions can be an attitude change, a suggestion to the
team, taking ownership of a process problem, etc.
Reinventing Session
Venting List
Tool crashes too much
Reinventing List
Enjoy the crashes as a feature! Laugh about it.
Ask JJ’s team or developers to research tool stability.
The choices don’t match the technology selected
Constructively suggested changes to be implemented
in DCCP or the future replacement tool.
It doesn’t allow customer user entry.
Constructively request this change to be
implemented in DCCP or the future replacement tool.
Take Action!
 In addition to what you learned today, please take action on your
Reinventing List.
 Perhaps you can work with your manager to make it a
performance goal or improvement objective.
 Keep feeding your positive emotions so that you can achieve an
upward trend in productivity, healthy, and fulfillment.
Thank you for participating!
 Baumgardner, S. R., & Crothers, M. K. (2009). Positive
Psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
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