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How to Bring Positivity to the Workplace

Positive psychology is the study of types of behavior that seem to create a positive atmosphere. When you create a positive atmosphere at work, you feel better and are more productive. Here is how and why.

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(Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr)

The Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania defines positive psychology as "the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play."

This may sound like a tall order. When you are running late for work, have too many emails to answer, a presentation due this afternoon, and a gruff, critical boss, finding time to "enhance your experience" may sound like the script of a movie, not reality. However, research suggests that positive psychological outcomes directly correlate with greater organizational outcomes. Simply put, that means that a sense of motivation, lower stress, and especially fulfillment at work lead to greater productivity and potentially a bigger bottom line.

Express Gratitude

Generally, workers appreciate recognition. If you are a member of a team, remember to thank your teammates for their contributions. If your colleague does something well, go ahead and tell him, "Oh, I like that." Your polite and appropriate recognition of other people's contributions may be infectious, and others may start to express appreciation, as well.

When workers feel appreciated, they also feel more motivated to do well. You may help create this atmosphere of positivity by simply expressing appreciation or gratitude when appropriate.

A positive atmosphere will help you feel more fulfilled, as well.

Find or Become a Mentor

Forbes discusses how mentorship in an organization increases positivity. People who have mentors in a company feel less like just another cog in the wheel and more like people in the company care about them and their job performance. They feel more like a valued team member.

If you are looking for a mentor, you may find one even without an established mentorship program in your workplace. If there is someone at your workplace you look up to, and who seems to like you, why not ask for her advice or feedback? It is highly likely she will be flattered that you consider her an expert.

Sometimes being pleasant, approachable, and willing to help out newer hires may put you in the position of informal mentor. Your attitude brings a sense of positivity to your workplace, and likely helps the company's overall productivity by helping individuals, one by one.

If you are able to help newer hires, you may get an emotional boost that gives you more energy and makes you more productive.

Tell Us What You Think

How can you bring positivity to your workplace? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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