Tag Archives: Martin Seligman

Resilient Performance Enhanced by Warmth, Touch

John Bargh

John Bargh

Idit Shalev

Idit Shalev

John Bargh of Yale and Idit Shalev now of Ben Gurion University found a bi-directional causal relationship between physical warmth and social warmth.

They used social affiliation as a proxy for social warmth; Loneliness and interpersonal rejection were examples of social coldness.

Results from their four studies concluded that feelings of social warmth or coldness can be induced by experiences of physical warmth or coldness, and vice versa.

In addition, Bargh and Shalev demonstrated that volunteers unconsciously self-regulated feelings of social warmth by applying physical warmth.

This type of self-regulation is a form of exerting control over the environment and managing feelings.
Self-management strategies reinforce people’s perception that they have some control over choices and environment.

Paul Zak

Paul Zak

Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg

Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg

Paul Zak and Kerstin Uvnas Moberg argue that touch can be another self-regulation strategy because it activates the vagus nerve and the release of oxytocin, resulting in increased feelings of interpersonal warmth, compassion, and collaboration.

Both of these self-management strategies – inducing warmth and engaging in touch – can increase task performance and reduce the likelihood that people will experience depression.

Carl Honore

Carl Honore

Martin Seligman

Martin Seligman

Canadian Journalist Carl Honore provided evidence in Martin Seligman’s important finding in studies of “learned helplessness,” that when people have a sense of control – whether real or a “positive illusion” – it can have a salutary effect on performance and mood.

-*How do you self-regulate performance and mood?

The Slow FixMartin Seligman-HelplessnessRelated Posts

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Lessons Learned, Do-Over Wishes: Regrets in Life, Career

Daniel Gulati

Daniel Gulati

Daniel Gulati, founder of FashionStake and Harvard Business School graduate, asked 30 professionals between ages 28 and 58 what they regretted most about their careers.
Most frequently mentioned “do-over” wishes were:

Frederick Herzberg

Frederick Herzberg

1.    Avoiding the temptation to accept a job for the money, confirming Frederick Herzberg assertion that “hygiene” factors, like salary, do not result in motivation or “engagement” in work.
In contrast, most people search for meaningful work in addition to an equitable wage.

Related Post:
Finding Work You Love, Measuring Your Life

Deloitte Shift Index 20122.    Leaving a bad job situation sooner. Gulati asserted that large corporations provide a “variable reinforcement schedule” in which the timing, frequency, and size of rewards is unpredictable, leading people to stay in roles they may not like on the hope of maximizing gains.
As a result, many people feel bound to large organizations by “golden handcuffs,” despite findings by Deloitte’s Shift Index survey the 80% of those surveyed are dissatisfied with their jobs.

Lara Buchak

Lara Buchak

In addition, people may tend toward risk-averseness in the workplace because most are more bothered by threat of losses than they are pleased by gains, according to findings by MIT’s Lara Buchak.

This risk-averseness may lead to “premature optimization,” rather than innovative and exploratory risks to uncover strengths, career options, and technical solutions to work challenges.

3.  Not starting a business, compounded by the same risk-averseness, variable schedules of reinforcement, premature optimization, and perceived golden handcuffs dynamics.

John Coleman

John Coleman

4. Not using time in school settings more productively, meaningfully, insightfully, mentioned by survey participants in Gulati’s collaboration with fellow Harvard Business School grads, John Coleman

W. Oliver Segovia

W. Oliver Segovia

and  W. Oliver Segovia featured in Passion & Purpose, and HBR Guide to Getting the Right Job.

Passion and Purpose5. Not following unanticipated career opportunities, again due to risk-averseness and premature optimization.

Gulati expanded his investigations to 100 younger HBR Guide to Getting the Right Jobpeople, between 25 and 35, and found both existential and specific regrets and do-over wishes:

1.    Not doing something “useful”, also mentioned by Daniel Pink and Martin Seligman, who found that Purpose, Mastery, and Control are top motivators.

Martin Seligman

Martin Seligman

Related Post: Career Navigation by Embracing Uncertainty

2.    Not living in the moment, due to over-scheduling and lack of training or discipline to focus mindfully on the present moment

3.    “Wasting time” earlier in life, such as not taking full advantage of school years

4.    Not travelling more, again limited by risk-averseness, premature optimization leading to financial commitments and family responsibilities

5.    Not developing physically fitness, partly attributed to “after-work drinks” instead of exercise.

Neal Roese

Neal Roese

Northwestern’s Neal Roese, Mike Morrison of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Kai Epstude of University of Groningen asked 370 adults in the United States to describe one memorable regret.

Kai Epstude

Kai Epstude

Influenced by gender, age and education level, most-frequently cited regrets were:

  • Missed romantic connection (~20%), with women more than twice as likely (44%) to men (19%). Those not in a relationship were the most likely to cite a romantic regret.
  • Family issues (arguments, unkindness-16%)
  • Education (13 percent)
  •  Career (12 percent)
    • Money (10 percent)
    • Parenting mistakes (9 percent)
    • Health regrets (6 percent)

Participants expressed equal regret for things they had done as those who felt regret for something they had not done, but these missed-opportunity regrets were more likely to persist over time.

Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigal considered the other end of the age spectrum when she reported on “do-over” wishes of hospice patients:

• Work less hard
• Stay in touch with friends
• Let myself be happier
• Have the courage to express my true self
• Live a life true to my dreams

Related Post: How Gaming Can Help You Live Better and Longer

Isabelle Bauer

Isabelle Bauer

Isabelle Bauer, then at Concordia University, explored the impact of regrets on emotional and physical well-being, and found that people cope with regret by:

  • Undoing regrets, often through rationalization
  • Changing internal appraisals of regret

These findings of Lessons Learned in the School of Experience suggest the importance of:

  • Finding meaningful and worthwhile work
  • Taking considered risks to connect with others, explore interests and the world
  • Balancing work and interpersonal priorities
  • Investing time in high priority endeavors
  • Finding ways to reprioritize activities based on Lessons Learned from perceived regrets.

-*What are your Lessons Learned as you plan your New Year?

-*How do you manage your “Do-Over” thoughts?

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Developing a SMARTER Mindset for Resilience, Emotional Intelligence – Part 2

Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck

Stanford professor Carol Dweck distilled Salvador Maddi’s three mindsets into two mindsets in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

She differentiated:
• Fixed Mindset – Belief that personal capabilities are given, fixed, limited to present capacities.
This “nature” mindset can lead to fear, anxiety, protectiveness and guardedness.
• Growth Mindset– Belief that personal capabilities can expand based on commitment, effort, practice, instruction, confronting and correcting mistakes. This “nurture” mindset enables teamwork and collaboration.
K. Anders Ericcson

K. Anders Ericcson

Research by K. Anders Ericsson demonstrated that highly skilled experts in nearly every field are distinguished from their talented peers by practice.
Similarly, Malcolm Gladwell asserted that expert performance comes after 10,000 hours of practice.

The Road to Excellence: The Acquisition of Expert Performance in the Arts and Sciences, Sports, and Games

Expert Performance in Sports: Advances in Research on Sport Expertise

Although mindsets consist of relatively stable beliefs, they can be modified by reinforcing, praising, and rewarding performance strategy and process, not the resulting outcome.

Cynthia Kivland

Cynthia Kivland

Cynthia Kivland introduced a practice of “vetting emotions” using a three step process to investigate and manage emotions

• Validate – Name the emotion
• Explore – What is the broader context?
What are the familiar reaction patterns?
• Tolerate – Transform limiting emotions into information and intelligence to move forward

“Cognitive appraisal” refers to evaluative elements of thoughts, and can provoke emotions.
This type of appraisal is based on three factors, outlined by eminent researcher

Martin Seligman

Martin Seligman

Martin Seligman in his book, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life

• Personalization of cause, responsibility: Internal control vs External control
• Pervasiveness of event and impact: Specific vs Global
• Permanence of event and impact: Temporary vs. Continuing

Kivland suggested that mindsets and related attitudes can direct individuals to either of two paths:

• Surviving Path, based on reactive, fearful protecting from anticipated danger

• Hope Path, proactive, thriving, growing, able to let go of fears, observe emotions as information for decision-making rather than as unpleasant experiences to be tolerated

Kivland, Dweck, Maddi, Ericcson, Seligman, and other advocates of Emotional Intelligence practices suggest benefits of the Hope Path.

Dweck model and the mindset of positive psychology

Dweck’s Brainology software for students

Related Post:
Developing a SMARTER Mindset to increase Resilience, Emotional Intelligence – Part 1

-*What “mindsets” help you achieve optimal performance in work and life activities?

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