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Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Benefits of Being Positive

Over the years much research has been carried out on the positive effects of being positive and the negative effects of being negative. The research is clear. It really does pay to be positive and the benefits include enhanced health and longevity, happiness, career advancement, athletic performance and team building. Being positive is not just a nice way to live. It’s the way to live. In this spirit here are 11 benefits of being positive:

1. Positive people live longer - In a study of nuns, those that regularly expressed positive emotions lived on average 10 years longer. (The Nun Study)
2. Positive work environments outperform negative work environments. (Daniel Goleman)
3. Positive, optimistic sales people sell more than pessimistic sales people. (Martin Seligman)
4. Positive leaders are able to make better decisions under pressure. (Heartmath.org)
5. Marriages are much more likely to succeed when the couple experiences a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative interactions whereas when the ratio approaches 1 to 1, marriages are more likely to end in divorce. (John Gottman)
6. Positive people who regularly express positive emotions are more resilient when facing stress, challenges and adversity. (Several Studies)
7. Positive people are able to maintain a broader perspective and see the big picture which helps them identify solutions where as negative people maintain a narrower perspective and tend to focus on problems. (Barbara Fredrickson)
8. Positive thoughts and emotions counter the negative effects of stress. For example, you can't be thankful and stressed at the same time. (Several Studies)
9. Positive emotions such as gratitude and appreciation help athletes perform at a higher level. (Heartmath.org)
10. Positive people have more friends which is a key factor of happiness and longevity. (Robert D. Putnam)
11. Positive and popular leaders are more likely to garner the support of others and achieve greater success in the workplace. (Several Studies)




Leadership Lessons from India

With the Indian economy predicted to grow by 7.5 percent this year, experts say it could be time for Western CEOs to learn some lessons from their Indian counterparts. While Western economies continue to stutter, a report forecasts India will soon return to the high-growth trajectory it enjoyed before the crisis. At the same time, new research published recently in the Harvard Business Review shows the heads of India's biggest companies have a very different approach to leadership from Western bosses.

These are some of the key differences between Indian and Western bosses:
  • Indian leaders lead with a sense of social purpose.
  • Indian firms invest an enormous amount in their employees' training and development, whereas U.S. firms have largely abandoned investing in employees, seeing it as a waste if they leave the business.
  • Indian bosses place far less emphasis on shareholders than is typical at Western businesses. As a result they're more able to take a long-term view.
  • U.S. companies often think about strategy in terms of chasing customers or pursuing market opportunities, but Indian firms will more often start by identifying their strengths, identifying their customers' needs, and then try to meet those needs.
  • Indian leaders see themselves first and foremost as being a personal role model for their employees.