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Optimistic Thinking and Being a Realist - part 1
It's not in your genes: it's learned

No matter what industry you're in or what role you play, one thing is for sure (as well as taxes of course) and that's that it won't always go your way. No matter how skilled you are there will be times when you miss your goal. This is obvious in sport and in selling: "you can't sell them all, no matter how good you are".

The big difference between elite sports heroes or high profile business 'winners' is not that we fail and they succeed; it is in their skill at rationalising life's up and downs so they can come back from failure and go on to succeed - time after time.

This is not about 'PMA - positive mental attitude' in the way normally taught, through affirmations etc. This is about learning a new way of thinking things through. A new habit which can be learned and then practiced like any other habit.

The leading psychologist who did most of the original work on the subject is Martin Seligman and he started by researching the idea that depression is a form of learned helplessness. Then after some years he asked psychologists to 'turn the binoculars around' and look at fully functioning healthy people - how do they cope? He then coined the phrase 'learned optimism' recognising that both are simply learned ways of viewing life's events.

Some years ago I put out a small questionnaire designed to identify people who scored high in learned optimism. The video below is an interview with one such respondent where I attempt to illustrate the way he thinks optimistically.

Although it was made some time ago I was recently working with a client on their goal of being optimistic and resilient and showed them this. They suggested it might be worth a look if you haven't already seen it..........

An interview with Nick Barber

Coaching for Success
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It Pays To Be Nice!
Helping out not only gets you lots of friends and thanks but might get you a higher salary too.

Cynics might say it pays to look after No 1 but this simple experiment carried out in Holland seems to suggest that because we are social animals having a reputation for being a good team player and willing to help out actually increases your chances of being recruited. Also it seems the starting salary offered could be higher too.

Doesn't really surprise me though!

Read more.........

Getting The Best Deal?
Get some training.

Whenever I went on a negotiation skills course of some sort I always wondered what was the point unless both me and the buyer were similarly trained.

Seems I'm not the only one; this study set out to test what happens if only one person is trained in negotiation.

The bottom line is that so long as the SELLER is trained you should end up with a better deal than if neither of you are.

Read more.........

Open Plan v Enclosed Space
For years the debate over the best use of space has favoured open plan, not because workers prefer it but because it looks as though it makes most efficient use of space. The clincher though was sold as being better for encouraging communication between workers.

This study (from the USA)  concludes, "Our results categorically contradict the industry-accepted wisdom that open-plan layout enhances communication between colleagues and improves occupants' overall work environmental satisfaction,".

Read more.........


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