From the heart: Show your colleagues some love using positive psychology!

Are you interested in increasing the well-being of your staff using a proven positive psychology technique? How about in giving money to a worthwhile charity’s campaign which could save lives? We have just the thing for you!

“From the Heart” is a campaign to raise money for charity in February 2016 which can also benefit staff well-being and team relationships. It is simple and fun to do – everyone who wants to join in puts their name in a hat. On the allotted day – we’re choosing 15th February – everyone picks out a name, and writes them a piece of positive feedback, “from the heart” to raise that person’s well-being and positive emotion. Make it sing if you can – say something that you would like to hear yourself and would make you feel good. It’s like a Secret Santa, only your present is free and you can have a wonderful impact on that person.

Taking part involves a donation of at least £1 and the money goes to charity. Here at Kade we are recommending the money is sent to the Mending Broken Hearts Campaign – research which is carried out at universities such as the University of Leeds and University of York. This project has the potential to save many lives through helping the heart regenerate. You can find out more about this exciting project here.

The “To the Heart” campaign is an exercise in positive psychology, which aims to help people flourish. Many of these techniques are used to enhance emotional resilience and have contributed to lowering sickness absence and improving engagement in learning and work. Participating as a team can improve relationships and help everyone work together more effectively.

When I’ve described this to people, one of the questions I have had is, “What if I get someone I don’t like?” For me, this is an opportunity to change the way you see that person. If they are not performing at their best in their role, is confidence their issue? If so, searching for the good in them can help them to build on their strengths and who knows, perhaps you will see some improvement? So if they are always late and poor at organisation, perhaps think about their flexibility. Will they do things at the last minute? Do they get upset when you change the plans? If they are not very task-focussed, think about their people-skills. Can they put people at ease? Do they know how to keep a conversation going? Regardless of whether their skills are entirely appropriate to their role, this positive psychology technique can help to make that person feel better about themselves, promote their self-esteem and identify opportunities for  you to help them use those skills to improve areas where they need development.

This kind of activity is not new, for example it has been used on occasion in schools before, and the children held on to their positive messages, and they thought about these long after. When I tried this before, I kept my messages and they gave me a feeling of warmth each time. So why don’t we share this more often with our colleagues? Happiness is contagious…so after showing your love for your partner on Valentine’s Day, show a little love for your colleagues this coming February.

Julie is an Occupational Psychologist with experience of working with organisations and individuals around the globe to effectively meet their unique challenges.