Social Support Makes Challenges Easier by Pete Berridge

  Is it surprising that a hill seems less steep when we are rested, in shape, or younger?  Or, that a hill appears steeper and distances appear greater when we are tired and depleted? Research has shown that our physical resources such as fitness, age, and feeling  refreshed influence our visual perception.[i], [ii] How does social support affect visual perception?  Researchers, Schnall, Harber, Stefanucci & Profitt[iii] set out to answer that question and here is what they discovered: Participants accompanied by a friend, when standing in front of a hill, estimated the hill to be 10 to 20% less steep than participants who were alone (even though that friend was standing three feet away, facing the other way, and not talking). Having people simply think of a “supportive person” led participants to see a hill as 10 to 20% less steep. Further, the relationship quality…

RECORDING – Shift Positive 360 Webinar

Miss the webinar today?  No problem! Here is the link to the recording that shares more insight on: 1) How to convince leaders to engage with the shift positive 2) Why a systems approach is the most successful for change 3) How using the Shift Positive 360 actually nets you more clients! And don’t forget the to get a 10% discount on the certification (February 23-24 in DC) go to:  www.bitly.com/Pos360PBDC before January 31st.

Shift Positive 360 – Certification for Coaches

Certification Training: February 23-24, 2017 Are you interested in being certified in the Shift Positive 360? The Shift Positive 360 is a narrative 360 approach used by executive and leadership coaches and HR leaders. This approach is grounded in positive psychology and focuses on engaging the client’s “people system” throughout the change process to ensure sustainable positive change. Join the two-day certification training and become well versed in positive psychology, social systems, the method and methodology behind the Shift Positive 360, and experience your own shift throughout the training. Register Here to take advantage of the special Positive DC Early Bird Special (Register by January 31, 2017) and save $250 In the certification process you will: Get grounded in key Positive Psychology concepts Feel confident in using the shift+ 360 Be capable in garnering allies for your client Challenge the traditional…

Shift Positive 360 – free webinar

Webinar: January 18, 2017 12-1pm ET Join us to learn how positive psychology and social systems can transform feedback from its current broken state into the constructive, energizing experience is was intended to be. Pete Berridge, MAPP & PCC and Jen Ostrich, PCC, co-founders of the Shift Positive 360, will talk about why feedback and 360s are not as effective as they can be. Learn how positive psychology and social support systems can make all the difference in your client’s success in creating sustainable change. In this webinar you will learn: The benefits of a solution-focused vs problem focused approach to feedback To challenge the notion of confidentiality with feedback and why it’s less effective How to set your clients up for successful change by creating their own “people system”   Pete Berridge and Jen Ostrich are both Hudson Institute…

Workplace Positivity? What’s the Right Amount? And Why?

(Originally published on Positive Psychology News Daily, PPND, in February 2016) Did you know the right amount of positive emotion can lead to more innovation, less absenteeism, and better problem solving? What are Emotions For? Early research regarding the purpose of negative emotion has been generally accepted. Negative emotion alerts us to danger and focuses attention on self-preservation and problem solving. However, understanding the survival benefits of positive emotion has been less clear, even dismissed, until recently. Researchers, including Martin Seligman, Barbara Fredrickson, and Christopher Peterson, have shown biological reasons for positive emotions and how they relate to human survival and well-being. In my experience as a leader, I have witnessed the results of positive emotion and its effect on well-being in the workplace. Emotions at the Workplace Positive emotion affects our workforce in the most basic way: our health.…

Connecting for Success Webinar Recording

Did you miss our webinar on Connecting for Success? No worries…scroll down and watch it. A message from Robert Rosales From Languishing to Flourishing at Work Whether organizations and their employees languish or flourish largely depends on the quality of the social connections they nurture. We spend most of our waking hours at work and thus improving social connections will impact productivity, engagement as well as community, organizational and individual wellbeing. The bottom line is that focusing on enabling high-quality relationships at work changes everything, for the better. Is it that simple? Yes. Is it easy? No. It takes persistence and hard work. But it’s worth it. Learn critical skills to develop better relationships at work by watching the following webinar. Connecting for Success with Robert Rosales.    

Danny Torrence – Chris Peterson Fellowship Award Winner: an Update

After spending a year studying well-being and human flourishing in the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at Penn, I am more convinced that living a good life is like writing a good story. New chapters bring new possibilities, ideas, challenges, conflict, and resolution. Through experiencing each of these elements, I’ve learned and grown a lot since graduating in August 2015 and am excited to see what lies ahead. Two exciting and unexpected things happened in the first six months following graduation: I was welcomed back to the MAPP program as an assistant instructor for the Capstone and Positive Psychology and Individuals courses and I was promoted to a new role at work that provides me the freedom and flexibility to use positive psychology to increase staff engagement. Prior to this role, I worked as a case manager to…

Connecting for Success – Upcoming Webinar

Connecting for success: This webinar will shift your perspective on relationships, well-being, and success. It is relevant to people’s lives, not just their work. Led by Robert Rosales, EMBA, MAPP. What is the greatest source of energy, creativity, and new business at work? People, provided they are fully engaged and supported by great leaders. In today’s workplace nothing of significance can be achieved alone. People are at the core of organizations because business, essentially, is about relationships. This really should come as no surprise. Relationships are central to well-being and a key feature of very happy people is the fact that they have good  interactions. Human beings are naturally social creatures and our interactions with others are just as vital as food and water. Over time, we have developed an innate ability to empathize and think socially in order to be able to cooperate with others.…

Update with Penn Scholarship Winner – Dwayne Thomas

What have I been doing since I graduated from Penn’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology program a few months ago? NOTHING! Okay, that’s not entirely true. I took a break to let my brain process everything I learned this year. Especially the glut of information clogging my brain after the capstone research process. Rest is a useful habit. Our waking brains constantly seek out clues and make connections. Sleep helps our brains consolidate memories. Writing my capstone, like the bar exam I took three years ago, wore me out. In both cases, I felt like I was carrying a 10-pound brick on my shoulders. Putting aside intellectual work for a few months while my brain did its work in the background helped clear the fog. However, I haven’t been idle – I’ve been training to work as a public speaker…

The Little Scholarship That Could

In 2006, a group of dedicated Master of Applied Positive Psychology alums decided to start a scholarship for the program.  And they donated and they donated, but they had a large mountain to climb of logistics at the University of Pennsylvania.  They built up the scholarship even though none of the money had been given away yet.  (‘I think I can, I think I can.’) Then when Chris Peterson passed away in 2012, more students came together and wanted to honor him with a scholarship and decided to combine with the earlier efforts to give back to students.  That little scholarship that could didn’t know that it would take a year to get over the ‘mountain’ of red tape at Penn in order to rename the ‘fellowship’.  (‘I think I can.’)  There was some treacherous weather on the mountain of…

Teachers Learn A New Trick by RedRover

How do we go about making sure that our kids learn empathy in addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic in school? Sadly, if you talk to today’s teachers, it often gets lost in the shuffle of getting the “real” instruction done. Teachers have so much time to get the nitty-gritty done the time for learning the soft skills fall by the wayside. Yet empathy, the ability to walk in someone else’s place and truly feel what they experience, gives children a way to understand the world differently. That’s where RedRover comes in. This organization has invested in building a program that teaches empathy to third and fourth graders. Empathy Goes to The Dogs… and Cats Let’s suppose we’re part of a class. The teacher tells us that we are trying The RedRover Reading Program today. Everybody becomes involved and you…

Shift Positive 360

The Shift Positive 360 continues to take off. Pete Berridge (our colleague) had another tremendous experience certifying coaches and HR practitioners in the Shift Positive 360 in Austin Texas in September. Our next certification is set for October 13 – 14 in Minneapolis for those interested in experiencing how narrative 360’s grounded in positive psychology and engaging the client’s “people system” leads to deeper, lasting change for clients and employees. View the 7-minute presentation and find out more about registration here.

How Do You Find a Job When You Are Blind?

Meet Rebecca Bridges. Wife. Mother. Management consultant at FMP Consulting. Rebecca has also been blind from birth. Knowing the unemployment rate is 70% for people who are blind, how could she grow up with the hope of finding a job that she would enjoy? Is it luck or is it something else? We have all heard the statistics. According to Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last, 1 in 3 employees seriously consider leaving their jobs. Of that number, only 1.5% of employees actually leave voluntarily. They feel safer with the job they hate then the unknown. With these types of statistics, I wondered how Rebecca found the courage to fulfill her dream. You Have to Be Better than Anyone Else Rebecca remembers her Dad giving her advice as a little girl when she complained that being blind wasn’t fair.…

Cultivating Curiosity And Engagement

This morning a stumbled across statistics that show the challenges with engagement, creativity, and well-being begin in the classroom rather than the boardroom. So, while Positive Business DC’s mission is to research to use science-backed research to improve your company, your culture, and your bottom line, let’s take a moment to see how we can improve the level of well-being with our kids. According to The Future Project,

Hiding When You Should Be Standing Out

I failed miserably last week. I attended MAVA’s Capital Connection (CapCon) seeking to assess how successful I thought presenting founders and their companies would be long-term based on a single factor: Empathy displayed when they interacted with the event’s attendees. Imagine my surprise when only one CEO manned his company’s booth throughout the two-days presenting founders had to show off to venture capitalists, service providers, journalists (aka me), and others who may be interested in their companies. Kudos go to Gary Tyermann, CEO of Univa Corporation. You stood out. Your counterparts blended in with the crowd. Talk about missed opportunity. You know want I found, Gary? I think you actually fit the bill regarding empathy. I’m going to say you also exhibited stick-to-itiveness and a sense for what’s really important… connecting with others when you get the chance. We’ll call…

Improv in Business Webinar – follow up

Kat Koppett Thank you to everyone who attended Improv for Business, our very first Positive Business DC Webinar!  We had a great turnout so be sure to join our Meetup so you don’t miss any announcements. If you missed it, our guest speaker was Kat Koppett, founder of Koppett & Company and author. Kat and Shannon Polly had a riveting discussion about the principals of  Improv and how applying to business can be transformative.  If you missed it, you can check out this Modern DC Business article and also the recording of the webinar itself. If you did not get enough, and I know we didn’t, Kat has graciously offered to do an online “on-the-fly” sample instruction.  So, if you want to participate, just post a message here on our Facebook page.  Here is the question to answer:  ”What’s a part of your business you want to improv? Finally, we…

Positive Interventions: Bulking Up on Self-Regulation, Self-Efficacy and Emotional Intelligence

While environment can assist in creating a positive intervention, it must begin on the level of self with belief, attention, (volition) and effort. In our first reading, Baumeister, Gailliot, DeWall and Oaten (2006) discuss two major points about self-regulation.  First, that self-regulation is a limited resource and like a muscle it can be depleted and it can be strengthened as well.  And second, while everyone has a capacity for self-regulation and an ability to increase that capacity, there are individual differences.  In regards to the first point, ego depletion was not caused by fatigue in their studies and, surprisingly, it wans’t caused by diminished self-efficacy.  Positive feedback did not reduce the effect of ego depletion.  Self-regulation can be improved by habit formation, increasing knowledge and understanding, increasing liking from familiarity and automatization.  The ‘bulking up’ of the muscle did not…

How the MBTI compares to the VIA-IS

What Do Strengths Have To Do With It? After thirty years of research the Gallup organization has discovered that “individuals gain more when they build on their talents, than when they make comparable efforts to improve their areas of weakness” (Clifton and Harter, p. 112, 2003).  Building on that statement, Clifton and Harter define a strength as refining a talent with skill and knowledge (p. 111, 2003).  In recent years, there has been a groundswell of support in the business community for a strengths-based approach. But now the question is how to measure and capitalize on those strengths?  If given with certain caveats, assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the StrengthsFinder 2.0 and the Value in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) provide pertinent information for assessing aspects of character depending on the desired outcomes. Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers…

Grant Me The Serenity

  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.                                                                                     (Niebuhr, 1987, p. 251)             The Serenity Prayer is the common name for an originally untitled prayer, most commonly attributed to the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.  This prayer has been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs.  There are three strengths mentioned in this prayer, two of which qualify as virtues as well.   The VIA-IS Classification of Strengths acknowledges courage as a virtue with its subsequent strengths of bravery, persistence, honesty and zest.  It also delineates wisdom and knowledge as a virtue with the subset of strengths that include:  creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning and wisdom or perspective.  It would follow, then, that serenity (or tranquility/peacefulness) would qualify as the twenty-fifth strength.…

Kill ‘Em with Kindness

Kindness is a top strength of mine and I enjoy doing things for others.  In fact I would say I need to do kind things for others to keep from being unhappy.  Because I frequently adapt to doing things for others, I have a tendency to do more things and give more frequent gifts in order to keep my ‘kindness’ identity consistent.  This makes me wonder:  can you bolster a strength that is already ranked 2nd of 24?  Is it easier to increase a strength that you already have rather than a lesser strength or weakness?  Will it make you appreciably happier to work on something that is already a strength?  I was sure before beginning this experiment that I knew the answers to these questions.  I found my answers changing and becoming more nuanced as the exercise drew to…