There is so much evidence out there that we humans are great at jumping on bad news and dwelling there, shining our light, and focusing on it because we are wired from an evolutionary/survival standpoint to do just that. However, there is a vast and growing body of evidence from the fields of positive psychology and neurobiology that actively focusing on the small, positive events that occur on a weekly basis deserves our attention.
I was so happy to see this technique being used at my bank this week!
I have recommended this idea to many: take a jar (clear is best so you can see the good news mounting up!) and have your coworkers stuff it with good things about you they noticed, or anything you felt was special in your day. This can be anything from a good feeling due to a super-connected interaction with a customer, to a co-worker paying you a compliment, in which case you deposit that nice thing you noticed in their jar. Decide on a time frame, once a quarter, every 6 months, or once a year if you want to do it up big, and attach a reward that all can share in together.
Read the items of someone else’s jar to them out loud! Spread and SAVOR the warm glow you will have from reliving some good experiences. Your neurons will love you, and it teaches all of you to shine your light on the positive, creating the habit of doing so in work places that can tend to be filled with a lot of negative vibes, and the pressure to do more with less.
One great idea for attaching a celebration to this effort is for your group to select a favorite restaurant or watering hole. At the appointed time interval, I suggest every 6 months, they can meet up for the reading. Make it as special or casual as you like, whatever pleases the majority, and fits in with your company culture. And have a manager or two there that will see all of this recognition! It will help them focus on your individual strengths to use them more effectively, creating a better work situation for each of you, and making the company more productive as a result.
And here is where I give a shout out to my helpful banking representative: Kudos to you Jessica for making my banking experience simple and complete. You listened and provided exactly the appropriate account and services I needed.