Key Point: I have been searching my “brain shelves” to find and wrap up the best Christmas gift I could for you; my wonderful readers. My fondest wish is that this blog becomes very meaningful for YOU through 2014 and beyond. I also hope that this message really connects at a deeper level… Maybe it resonates during a quiet walk or sitting in front of a warm fire? You are so deserving of it. It does however require increased self-awareness and daily ratio self-leadership. Will you unwrap it and find it valuable?
Dr. Richard Boyatzis, a professor at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, has used brain imaging to analyze how coaching affects the brain differently when you focus on DREAMS instead of FAILURES. Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina, finds that POSITIVE FEELINGS enlarge the aperture of our attention to embrace a wider range of possibility and motivates us to work toward a better future. She finds that people who do well in their private and work lives alike, generally have a higher ratio of positivity during their day. Being in the positive mood range activates brain circuits that remind us of how good we will feel when we reach a goal, according to research by Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin. That’s the circuit that keeps us working away at the small steps we need to take toward a larger goal – whether finishing a major project or a change in our own behavior. Daniel Goleman’s research reinforces that emotional intelligence begins with self-awareness—getting in touch with your inner voice. This is a matter of paying careful attention to internal physiological signals. These subtle cues are monitored by the insula, which is tucked behind the frontal lobes of the brain. Wharton’s Adam Grant and other scientists have documented the benefits of giving and research shows that we can see the brain acting differently when we are generous in spirit and action.
This science and research noted above is the backdrop to my gift to you and fully resonates with my experience.
- Allow yourself to spend more time dreaming about what you will do and become, than self-criticizing and being so hard on yourself for what you are not. While I’m a fan of continuous improvement to get better, my personal experience (and the science) reinforces our need to aspire to really THRIVE. Dream and aspire more than criticize every day.
- Be aware of the degree of positive feelings you have and impart to others. It is not a matter of being positive all the time, but having the right balance of positive to negative. There is strong evidence that the minimum positive to negative ratio to keep us moving forward is four to one.
- Think of giving of yourself as adding value in all your daily interactions with others. Give yourself an opportunity to reflect each day on who you brought positive value to and in what way. It may be a simple door opening for a stranger, cleaning up your coffee cup after a meeting, or something more impactful like providing thoughtful feedback, or contributing during a meeting. Give more than you take every day.
- So my gift to YOU is increased self-awareness and attention to your personal ratio leadership every day through 2014: The ASPIRATION DREAMS versus SELF-CRITICISM ratio; the POSITIVE PERSONAL THINKING versus NEGATIVE THINKING ratio, and finally the GIVING versus TAKING ratio.
Positive Ratio Leadership in The Triangle,