Did you know groups can also experience a collective fight or flight response? Learn about emotional contagion
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1. The Happiness Advantage
Did you know that groups can experience fight or flight like individuals? There is a concept called emotional contagion that applies to groups.
2. Fulcrum and Lever
Researchers administered to 20 question standardized test to more than 400 Americans on the first test it was before the election of President Barack Obama
In this test blacks scored worse than whites overall but the second test was taken after the election and what’s interesting is that their scores improved so dramatically that the performance gap was entirely erased.
3. Tetris Effect
During a Wall Street talk someone asked Shawn
“Sean, I know you’re from Harvard and everything, but isn’t this all a huge waste of time? Isn’t positive psychology just common sense? “
Turns out another employee said “that guy is the most unhappy person here. It’s like a rain cloud follows over his head all the time. We can’t put him on any teams because he’s toxic. “
Common sense is not common action.
4. Failing Forward
Crisis can be a catalyst for new ideas. Hewlett Packard and Texas instruments were launched during the great depression. Airbnb and Uber were launched during the housing crisis.
A MetLife study found that those who described past events optimistically sold 37% more insurance and the most optimistic agents sold 88% more than the most pessimistic ones. So optimism about past negative experiences between a big hiring factor for MetLife
5. Limiting our focus
One study of 7400 employees found that those who felt they had a little control over deadlines had a 50% higher risk of heart disease than their counterparts.
This is as great a risk factor for heart disease as high blood pressure
I wonder if social media creates a type of learned helplessness when you see so many perfect posts on Instagram
Spend money on experiences not things. It takes about three positive experiences to fend off the effects of one negative experience
Teams produce their best work when they have six positive experiences to one negative experience.
7. Social Investment
Why social support is your single greatest asset.
When we encountered an unexpected challenge or threat, the only way to save ourselves is to hold on tight to the people around us and not let go. A study of 24,000 workers found that men and women with few social ties were 2 to 3 times more likely to suffer from major depression than those with strong social bonds.
People who invest in their social support systems are better equipped to thrive even in the most difficult circumstances while those who withdraw from people around them effectively cut off every line of protection they have available at the very moment they need it the most.
A 70 year long Harvard study of men found that social bonds weren’t just predictive of overall happiness, but also of eventual career achievement, occupational success, and income.
Thomas Edison had a group of 30 assistants working with him when he invent vented the lightbulb. He was a social creative, not a Lonewolf.
Leaders committed to social investment also get moving literally. The idea of managing by walking around was popularized in the 1980s by Tom peters who learned the practice from Hewlett-Packard.
Jim Kelly, CEO of UPS said “I don’t even know the phone numbers of the people on our management committee “he said “because I never pick up the phone if they’re in the office. We just walk to each other’s offices when we need to talk. “
This is one of the major challenges of remote learning and remote working and we need to come up with strategies for people to get social investment
In the book connected, James Fowler estimate that there are nearly 1000 people within 3° of most of us. By trying to make ourselves happier and more successful, we actually have the ability to improve the lives of 1000 people around us.
Try this next time you’re in a conversation: show absolutely no emotional reaction. Do not get angry, sad, or frustrated, and do not smile or laugh. Go completely blank. Show no emotion, no matter what.
Look at the reaction and then try looking the person in the eyes and smiling at them genuinely. Virtually no one can refrain from returning the other persons smile.
This is the concept of emotional contagion. We can spread or happiness or negativity to others.
Just as Copernicus discovered that the earth actually orbits around the sun, recent advances in positive psychology and neuroscience have taught us that success actually revolves around happiness, not the other way around. By making changes within ourselves, we can actually bring the benefits of the happiness advantage to our teams, organizations, and everyone around us.