Understanding Affirmations will have a positive effect on how you approach your day.
If you’re a Plant Powered Leader leader trying to help those around you gain strength and find their resourcefulness affirmations work wonders too.
The scientific data shows how the right kind of affirmations can alter the way your brain functions!
The great thing about affirmations is that they build on what you already believe.
When you Concentrate on your positive beliefs, you will compound those beliefs even more.
For example, if you believe you are pretty good at running, and a friend tells you that you are a great runner, you feel good, and this affirms your belief.
You then start to identify with that of a runner more and more.
It all sounds quite simple so far, but this works both ways!
The Negative side of affirmations
Think back to a time when your boss called you out for making a silly mistake and, maybe they called you stupid, how did it make you feel?
Like shit, right!
This is because they were affirming one of your negative self-beliefs, that you are stupid and only you make silly mistakes, making the negative belief even stronger.
The result of this is a compound of that negative belief, and as we create our reality, we will most likely make more errors and become the stupid person our boss said we were!
While it’s not a nice trait, if your the CEO of a company you might feel like it is a good idea to come down hard on those who make mistakes, after all, you don’t want them happening again.
But according to studies, this might have the opposite effect.
Take neuroscientists Etkin and Egar who found that when criticised, the amygdala is activated. The amygdala is the part of the brain that stimulates the flight or fight response.
In Lui and Liaos study, they found that criticism impairs cognitive functioning and weakens the ability to be self-confident and resourceful.
This effect was found to be even more compounded when it happened in public.
So how can I show my employees they are valued and let them know they made mistakes?
Start by shifting the focus away from hitting targets or not hitting targets and focus instead on how the work is carried out.
This new way of thinking can have added benefits, imagine a salesperson who always hits targets but also creates a negative environment. They might be losing your company sales by demotivating the rest of the team!
On the flip side, imagine if you have a salesperson who doesn’t hit as many sales but creates a working environment that supports the team unity, with this added boost the teams overall sales go up!
How you can make your team more productive
Neuroscience shows us that when a person has not done well and then receives positive feedback, it will help the person who is felling the pain recover quicker and even inspires them to try harder the next time.
An example of this might be if your partner went to the gym on a Sunday but only did 20 min, rather than saying to your partner ‘you let your self down you need to do at least 45 min’, try reframing by saying ‘amazing work going to the the gym on a Sunday I bet not many people have your dedication’.
In a study by Creswell, Welsh and Tayor in 2005, they found that affirmations boosted overall productivity reduced stress and made the participants better problem solvers!
So if you want to create a productive team, don’t focus on your team’s negatives or mistakes, focus on the strengths of the person you want to empower!
How to Give Affirmations
It might look like you can say ‘well done’ and pat people on the back now and then.
But to make an affirmation stick, you must know the other person’s strengths as well as their passions.
According to the Book ‘Extraordinary Influence’ by Tim Irwin, there are four types of personality found in the workplace.
The four personality types are the Doer, the Advocate, the Idealist and the Challenger who all will need different affirmations.
Doers like to get stuff done; they need to be praised when they are doing a great job getting tasks completed!
Advocates are people-centred and need to be praised for keeping the morale high.
Idealists care about ethics and integrity; you need praising idealists for putting their values first.
Then there are the Challengers; these people want to question the status quo; they should be praised for their unique way of looking at problems.
If you can do this to those around you, your team will be not only more productive, but a deeper level of cohesiveness will start to arear.
Look for what matters to someone and praise them for it.
Create a supportive environment where it’s ok to make mistakes, especially when they are striving to do great things.
Refrain from criticism as this only undermines a person self-confidence.