Updated February 9, 2019
Working in a Group
Team based work is common place as it aims to capitalize on the strengths of multiple individuals to collaborate and get things done. However, any consistent involvement in an organized group setting–like at a workplace, volunteer center, or school, to only name a few–is like any small town. There is an opportunity to forge close relationships between members as a result of daily interactions. However, it doesn’t take much for individuals in the group to know when things are broken, policies seem unreasonable, or mistakes are made. It’s because of our “negativity bias” that we take note when things are “not right. ” When we understand how this bias works, we can overcome it with positive thinking.
The Impact of Negativity Bias
When we are immersed in a culture consisting of mostly unfavorable or at best neutral qualities, we naturally feel less supported, less safe, and less inclined to be generous or strive for the best. Additionally, when an individual fails to perceive much good in either the organization as a whole or in individual team members, the feeling is likely reciprocated by other staff and the sentiment is more likely to be amplified and perpetuated throughout the organization.
The Power of Recognizing Good Work
In contrast, it is uncommon for us to notice when someone doesn’t make a mistake. We just go about our day like nothing has happened. All too often, we forget that inside every organization and every town, there are very hardworking and diligent people who are doing great things every single day. Recognizing the good work of others is a simple but very powerful way to help them feel happier and more confident, and become more supportive and more productive in the organization. In turn, you will feel the same.
If life challenges occur and you’re unable to make drastic positive change, instead of focusing on what is wrong with your world start developing the habit of recognizing the good efforts of your co-workers. A sincere “good job” can improve work place satisfaction and fuel the drive towards positive organizational change.
Call to Action: Upon arrival to your group setting, make recognizing at least one positive thing in there the first thing you do. Pay attention to the team dynamics; do you notice a shift in positivity? While you are at it, transfer this skill to your personal life–your spouse, kids, friends, YOU–and see what type of growth comes from it!