Can Positive Thinking Boost Performance?

Jim Woods, Career Coaching, Mark Sanborn, Michael Hyatt, Breakthrough, Startup

Positive thinking doesn’t negate the value of rational thinking. King Phillip’s armada’s disastrous attempt to annihilate England is a superb example of the value of dissenting agreement. Negative thinking is different. It is a forbidding depression superior to any opportunity to see a future. Research shows the benefit of positive thinking which when used properly builds consensus.

Scientists at Cornell University examined the ways that physicians made medical diagnoses by having them think aloud while they solved the case of a patient with liver disease. Researchers found that when they gave physicians a small gift—even as simple as candy—those physicians were better at integrating case information and less likely to come to a premature diagnosis.

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Scientists at the University of California, Berkely Haas School of Business examined how positivity affects managers. They found that managers with greater positivity were more acccurate and careful on making decisions and were more effective interpersonally and spread positivity within their work teams, which in turn produced better collaboration.

Finally, scientists at Kellog School of Management at Northwestern University learned that when people negotiate complex bargains, positivity made a significant difference, resulting in more successful negotiations.

All of the preceding evidence supports the proposition that positivity has a beneficial effect on productivity and performance, a conclusion that employers and leaders should note. […]

Read more Psychology Today.

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Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website

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