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Lisa Jacobson

Member, IPPA

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Make it commonplace to begin all business meetings with each member briefly reporting three good things and how they came to be.

Research indicates that outlook can be elevated and sustained when individuals make a daily habit of noticing at least three things that went well and understanding how those good things came to be. Further research indicates that positive emotions such as joy and satisfaction broaden and build our thoughts, ideas and deeds.

We spend most of our lives in the workplace, why not begin to adopt best practices that cultivate cognitive and physical health and emotional well being?

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  • Feb 24 2012: I am a R&D PM and most of my days are spent going from meeting to meeting driving the project forward. If I ask everyone to state 3 positives at the beginning of the meeting I would get a response from a few. I would also get dirty looks from a few and I would be ignored by the remainder. Some would even resent me for the question. I feel it is my job to make the meeting a positive experience. The negatives are reported in a positive light. The widget is broken but we are doing a, b, c to fix it and we learned d by it breaking. I can only control my thoughts and I can project positivity. The negative, unmoviatived, and just plain tired people are always going to be in the meetings and they have a right to be there and have thier feelings. I agree with the intent but the method seems a little unmanageable. Life is good.
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      Feb 25 2012: A mature attitude, but I disagree on one point. They may have a right to their feelings, but they do not--necessarily--have a right to be there.

      Leadership is a lame and thankless job. But, without it, we would probably all sit around scratching our backsides.
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      Feb 25 2012: Raymond - Before consulting, I was in HR at a high tech company. Your response is valid. I get it. However, I suggest a certain "introduction strategy" for this new way to begin and end meetings. 1. Tell your teams that there is research supporting what you are suggesting. 2. Ask if anyone is curious about the findings and ask them to stay a little later to learn more about it. 3. Try to get them interested and curious about trying. You could start out by asking if anyone is interested in making meetings more effective and positive. 4. Start 3 good things with just one of your teams and when you start to get results, tell the other teams about what you are observing in the pilot team. If you need some assistance facilitating the pilot team, I will gladly Skype with you and help you implement it. I am passionate about applying the research findings in the business world.
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      Feb 25 2012: Raymond - Before consulting, I was in HR at a high tech company. Your response is valid. I get it. However, I suggest a certain "introduction strategy" for this new way to begin and end meetings. 1. Tell your teams that there is research supporting what you are suggesting. 2. Ask if anyone is curious about the findings and ask them to stay a little later to learn more about it. 3. Try to get them interested and curious about trying. You could start out by asking if anyone is interested in making meetings more effective and positive. 4. Start 3 good things with just one of your teams and when you start to get results, tell the other teams about what you are observing in the pilot team. If you need some assistance facilitating the pilot team, I will gladly Skype with you and help you implement it. I am passionate about applying the research findings in the business world.

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