Dancing with POS

April 21, 2015

By: Madison Romney

Spring has sprung and with spring comes graduation. This time of year always makes me think of blossoming flowers, warm weather, proud parents, and joyful, relieved students. It is a time all about new beginnings, exciting adventures, and, oftentimes, reflection. What have we done that has made a difference? How did we thrive and grow? Being a rising senior, I’m not facing graduation in the immediate future, but this time of year has definitely made me reflect on my own U-M experience so far.

As I’ve reflected, I’ve realized how much I’ve been shaped by the lessons I’ve learned at the Center for Positive Organizations. And I want to share a few of them with you now:

1) Rethink what is possible by working with what scares you and what inspires you; call upon your passions not your fears

2) Speak up; draw attention to yourself and stand up for values that everyone is working for

3) Don’t focus on fear; it narrows our options, exaggerates negative outcomes, and underestimates positive possibilities

4) Even the smallest changes, micro-moves, can generate collective enthusiasm and build momentum for change

5) Demonstrate gratitude and it will have positive health benefits for the receiver, and for you, the giver!

6) Inspire collective action; change your mindset from “I” to “We”

7) Discover: let go of traditional practices and definitions of work

8) Micro-moves can have macro-impact

9) Cultivate compassion organizing and a culture where everyone is looking out for each other

10) Trust others—if you expect others to trust you, you must trust them first

11) Play: taking moments to play evokes positive emotions and have a generative impact

12) Respectfully engage others; move away from technology during interactions

13) Seek out opportunities for appropriate physical touch (high fives, hugs, pats on the back) in order to foster even higher quality connections

14) Base your actions on your purpose; you will have greater engagement and satisfaction if you do

15) Courage doesn’t just come from leaders, it comes from all levels of an organization

16) Embrace this mindset: “This person is special, smart, and kind”

17) Find your positive identity: when people view themselves as developing at work they experience greater positive emotions and persist through adversity

18) Foster positive relationships by incorporating “celebrations” in other aspects of your life

19) Treat employees as resources for change, not resistors

20) In everything you do, use a POS Lens; treat every interaction as a possibility to foster a positive relationship

Sandra Bullock articulates the importance of positivity perfectly in her 2014 Graduation Speech for Warren Easton Charter School: “In my house we turn on music and the rule is you have to dance a little bit before you step out in the world because it changes the way you walk. It changes the way you walk into the world.”

Dancing to the music of a positive mindset and POS principles allows us all to walk into the world with an electric smile, compassionate attitude, and resourceful ability. Thank you CPO for teaching us how to “dance” through life. Thank you for showing us how to share that contagious spunk with those around us. Thank you for an incredible year of learning, innovation, and flourishing.

As a final farewell, I will leave you with another nugget of wisdom from Sandra Bullock:

“Go find your joy. Whatever that is, go find your joy. Are you going to have a good day or are you going to have a great day, because it’s completely up to you.”