Practical insights for leaders

The power of a positive perspective

One of the most positive and constructive Stakeholder Insight reports I’ve compiled was also one of the worst received.

My client, N, a lawyer, initially found it impossible to see positive feedback for what it was. Instead, people were ‘just saying that’, or had ulterior motives, or didn’t see the ‘real’ situation. Unsurprisingly, N’s biggest leap in personal effectiveness and fulfilment came when she learned to challenge and overcome her almost exclusive focus on negative interpretations. 

‘Positive psychology’ may get a bad rap — who likes a Pollyanna? — but a growing body of research shows that rational optimism and positive messaging lead to greater self-fulfilment, better-informed decisions and more inspired teams. This month’s Acumen explores the theme.


Listen: Martin Seligman on Happiness | Podcast interview | 41 mins

In this light-hearted yet fascinating interview, Professor Martin Seligman, commonly dubbed the father of positive psychology, talks about his decades of research into the power of optimism. Listen and discover

  • What positive psychology is really about
  • How a more optimistic outlook positively influences our achievements, well-being, relationships, and sense of engagement and personal meaning
  • Real-life examples of the impact of positive psychology in life and work 


Cadence Tool: Building Optimism With the 3Ps

Most of us have a subconscious lens through which we perceive the world around us in a more positive (optimistic) or negative (pessimistic) way. 

The good news is that we can adjust our lens. Building optimism involves becoming more aware of our default thinking patterns and consciously challenging them by considering alternative perspectives. This month’s Cadence Tool introduces a simple research-backed framework you can use to make a lasting change.


Still on the fence?

‘Positive psychology is about what non-suffering free people choose. And indeed, one of the things they choose is to feel good, but they also choose to be engaged. They choose to have good relationships. They choose to matter and mean in the world, and very importantly, they choose to accomplish things.’

– Martin Seligman, Award-winning psychologist and author

Plus a visual reminder that we all need to periodically review how our outlook is helping us:

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