By Daniel Hunter

Happy teams are successful teams. And if you want a happy team then you need to make people feel good.

Sarah Lewis is a chartered psychologist and author of ‘Positive Psychology at Work’ and she offers nine positive psychology tips to make your team feel great.

1) Start meetings with a round of success stories — give people the opportunity to share the best of their week.

2) Build the sharing of great stories about the achievements and success of the organisation into your induction programme. Get the owners of the stories to share their best moments of working for your company. This will help to inspire new recruits.

3) Encourage your managers to offer feedback with a ratio of at least three positive comments to every negative one. Research has shown that by reaching and exceeding this magic ratio of 3:1 teams become more innovative in their thinking and so more successful.

4) Use the Diamond Feedback technique. Diamond feedback is when you both report the behaviour you saw that you thought was good, and you give the praise for that behaviour.’

5) Focus on strengths. Helping people understand what their natural strengths are and how to use them, aids performance. The more you can help people find ways to use their strengths at work, the more likely it is that they will become self-motivated in their work. But first they need to know them.

For example, ask ‘When are you at your most energised at work?’’ What feels really easy and enjoyable for you that others sometimes struggle with?’ and most interesting of all ‘what can you almost not, not do?’

6) Once you and your team know their own strengths, find ways to use them more at work and, equally important, ways to do less of the work that drains you of energy. Allocate tasks in your team by strengths rather than by role and delegate by volunteer rather than imposition when possible.

7) Make sure other people know your strengths, so that they can call on you for opportunities that play to your strengths.

8) How you respond to someone’s good news is as important for relationship building as how you respond to their bad news. So, to encourage positive relationships at work, help people to be actively positive in their response to other people’s good news.

9) Some people are just people that other people like to have around. The existence of such people at the centre of a team creates positive energy. They have the knack of giving people little boosts of good feeling in their conversations or interactions with them, and they leave feeling better than when they arrived. Notice who they are, place them strategically in projects and initiatives to which you want to attract other people, for example.

These tips barely scratch the surface of the interesting research and ideas emanating from the field of ‘Positive Psychology at Work’ so reading around the subject or using tools like ‘Positive Psychology Concept Cards’ can really help.

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