I have taught positive psychology and problem solving for many years. In most of those sessions, I described the following experiment to the students.
The study facilitators gave each of three groups of six people an identical script with a problem described on it. Each of the groups were told to solve the problem as quickly and with as much creativity as possible.
The first group was the control group. No further instructions were given.
For the second group, one person was selected for additional instruction. That person was asked to be a cheerleader while the group was problem solving. The facilitators told them to tell the group how easy that the problem would be to solve with the quality of the people participating.
For the final group, one person was selected for additional instruction. That person was asked to be negative while the group was problem solving. The facilitators told that person to talk about how ridiculously hard the problem was and how silly the exercise was.
After describing the experiment, I asked the class participants which group solved the problem quickest with the most creativity, which group was second and which group underperformed. In years of teaching scores of classes, no class ever got the order wrong.
What would you guess?
The answer is, of course, the positive group was number one. The control group was number two and the negative group took the longest with the least creativity.
What are the ramifications?
- A single person can have a profound impact on the performance of a group.
- Just one person in each group could choose to be positive and cheerlead for better results.
- You could choose to be that person right now.
The remaining question is; If every class that has been asked the question of which group performs best has been right, why doesn’t everyone simply choose to be the one positive person?
Maybe it doesn’t matter? It is enough to make the right decision today and in the future.
Just my opinion. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
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#Positivity #Cheerleading #ProblemSolving #Enthusiasm