Taking a positive approach increases creativity & problem solving by 20%.
Michelle Gielan, in her bestselling book, Broadcasting Happiness, refers to research that shows how being positive about others can make big changes to performance at work. In one study she found that “pairing problems with solutions increased research participants’ creative problem solving abilities on subsequent unrelated tasks by 20 percent.” And apparently it also improved their mood!
We’ve quoted before the research by Warwick University that happy employees are 12% more productive and unhappy ones 10% less productive. The research team have said (in a Fast Company article); “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.”
Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, has found that the brain works much better when a person is feeling positive. At those times, individuals tend to be more creative and better at solving problems. When workers are happy they’re more effective collaborators working toward common goals.
We’d all love to work for a company that is full of happy and productive workers wouldn’t we? How many of us work for that company now?
We all have the ability to make this happen where we work – we are all creating our company culture all of the time.
Michelle Gielan, in her research says ‘…we are actually changing people all the time–shaping how others process the world through our words and body language’. In a Forbes article she cites a study by the University of California where; strangers were sat in a room together for just two minutes, without talking. When their emotions were tested afterwards it was found that ‘’the most expressive person in the room ended up influencing the other two people. If one person was frowning and crossing their arms, the other two felt less happy or more agitated. If the most expressive person was smiling or relaxed, it made the others feel more positive. All that in just two silent minutes!’’
We all have that power to enable creativity and productivity in our workplaces…by being ourselves at work, bringing all of us to work, not holding back but fully engaging.
If we let go of anything in our heads telling us what we should or shouldn’t be like, the stuff that can hold us back; ‘I should be professional’, ‘to contribute I need to have a good idea’, ‘I’m not creative enough’, we wouldn’t hold back. We’d let go of self-consciousness and be our natural selves. We’d step into flow and be naturally impressive – our natural best selves!
Do you have the courage to get stuck in, be involved and express your views?
Here are three powerful tips that promote a positive workplace and increase creativity.
- Decide to stop conforming. Let go of your learnt behaviours and workplace persona of professionalism. Let go of controlling your impact. Trust that you’ll get it right. Be yourself.
- Decide to never be the mood hoover. Take your brightness and natural excitement and focus it on making others happy – vs yourself.
- Stay conscious of always being open to the new. Imagine. Play. Visualise. Set a reminder to have a bite-sized 1-minute of dreaming. Even if there is no creative agenda at the moment. The practice will slowly reprogramme you to always connect with wider future possibilities.