A former seminar participant, Graeme Franks, created this wonderful animation from our handout The Blame Eliminator. We like to meet people where they start, which in this case is blaming and complaining. After people clear the pipes a little, they’re much more likely to shift. See if that happens for you when you experience this process.
Otto Scharmer’s work underscores the power of presencing in the larger context of collaboration, a value we’ve been exploring for several decades. We’re delighted to have colleagues around the world joining this evolutionary collaboration.
Scientists are now demonstrating that emotional choices are linked to cancer and other illnesses, and they are giving practical advice for how to be healthier.
In The Type C Connection, psychologist Lydia Temoshok and science-writer Henry Dreher explore the links between behavior and cancer and provide additional evidence of the mind-body connection in the immune system.
“Type C behavior” of passivity, appeasement, and repression of anger causes a weakening of the immune system, increasing vulnerability to cancer and infectious diseases.
They recommend that people transform their Type C behavior into more balanced, healthier patterns, first through self-awareness and then by taking action, and they give advice on how to do so.
Dr. Martin Seligman, past president of the American Psychological Association, in his book Flourish, explores what it takes to live a rich, full life. He has identified five elements of flourishing: positive emotion, engagement, positive relationships, meaning and accomplishment.
Well-being is not about happiness: “If we wanted positive emotions, our species would have died out a long time ago.” Instead, well-being combines “feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships and accomplishment.”
In terms of accomplishment, we like to think of that as healthy responsibility. According to Seligman: “We found that even when good things occurred that weren’t earned, like nickels coming out of slot machines, it did not increase people’s well-being,” he said. “It produced helplessness. People gave up and became passive.” Seligman recommends selecting goals that match your values and monitor your progress towards these goals.
How much do you experience of these five elements of flourishing now? It might depend on where you live. How likely you are to flourish can be influenced by your country and culture. Denmark and Switzerland ranked highest in Europe, with more than 25 percent of their citizens flourishing, and near the bottom, with fewer than 10 percent flourishing, were France, Hungary, Portugal and Russia.
Sometimes when we are sharing advice, our intention may be to help improve what is going on around us. What we likely do not realize is that we are choosing to focus our attention on evaluating, judging, comparing and/or criticizing, and that this attitude itself has negative impacts.
Focusing on and sharing what is not working, rather than focusing on what is working and appreciating, is making an implicit request that others focus on negativity too. In this way, negativity can be contagious.
Tony Schwartz, in his HBR blog “Emotional Contagion Can Take Down Your Whole Team” offers some valuable insights:
• The mood and attitude someone brings to work are as important as their skills
• Attitudes can spread fast, and negative ones can be highly toxic
• Positivity can’t be faked well or for long – authenticity is revealed in facial, vocal and postural cues
• Be aware of what you feel – you can’t engage or shift what you don’t notice
The key to balancing realism and optimism is to embrace the paradox of realistic optimism.” Have “the faith to tell the most hopeful and empowering story possible in any given situation, but also the willingness to confront difficult facts as they arise and deal with them directly.
We agree, in fact, we say choose:
authenticity — by recognizing your emotions,
response-ability — by recognizing the impact you and your emotions may have on those around you, and
appreciation — to generate authentic good will and engagement.