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The Business Case for Positivity at Work

The Business Case for Positivity at Work

I was recently working with one of my San Francisco Bay Area executive coaching clients – the Managing Partner of a mid-sized law firm.
We discussed how to develop a positive mindset.

My executive coaching client and I further discussed creating a culture of positivity can help the law firm rain makers seal more deals. I am coaching my client on how firm leaders can change the way lawyers think and act to create a more positive culture.

The Business Case for Positivity

As scientists study the brain and learn more about how we achieve optimal functioning, the term positivity has finally captured business leaders’ interests.
What researchers are discovering about positive emotions at work is essential knowledge for anyone who wants to lead individuals and organizations to high performance.

One study of CEOs showed that positivity training could boost their productivity by 15 percent, and managers improved customer satisfaction by 42 percent. Positivity training programs have demonstrated excellent results with tax auditors, investment bankers and lawyers.

Briefly, here’s what these groups are taught to reduce stress and raise their levels of happiness and success:

  1. How to develop a positive mindset
  2. How to build their social support networks
  3. How to buffer themselves against negativity

Despite such training’s amazing results, many leaders remain completely unfamiliar with the concept.  Maybe there’s a stigma attached to positive thinking and happiness.

Being positive isn’t simply about being nice and giving in, nor does it mean suppressing negative information and emotions. Both are critical for optimal performance. Apparently, however, a 3:1 positivity-to-negativity ratio is the tipping point for individuals and business teams to go from average to flourishing.

When you experience and express three times as much positive as negative emotion, you pave the way for excellence and high performance. Most of us (80 percent) experience a ratio of 2:1.

In business, positive emotions yield:

1.  Better decisions.Researchers at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business studied how positive moods affect managers. Managers with greater positivity were more accurate and careful in making decisions, and were more effective interpersonally.

2.  Better team work. Managers with positive emotions infect their work groups with similar feelings and show improved team coordination, while reporting less effort to accomplish more.

3.  Better negotiating. At Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, researchers learned that when people negotiate complex bargains, positivity again surfaces as a contributing factor for success.

Negotiators who strategically display positivity are more likely to gain concessions, close deals and incorporate future business relationships into the contracts they seal. Those who come to the bargaining table with a cooperative and friendly spirit strike the best business deals.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to create a culture of positivity? Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more positive culture.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Can positivity help our company be more successful?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their peak performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are more positive and fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

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