Research on relational self affirmation in Harvard Business Review

April 25, 2016

By: Francesca Gino

In the HBR column “Teams Who Share Personal Stories Are More Effective,” author Francecsa Gino talks about collaboration and the effect of relational self affirmation when working with teams. Her research, along with CPO post-doctoral fellow, Julia Lee and others, has found that relational self affirmation processing can heighten individual team members’ contributions and the team’s outcomes as a whole.

“Relational self-affirmation involves asking individuals from a team member’s preexisting personal network (friends, family, and coworkers) to write narratives about times the individual made a distinct contribution,” she writes.

The Reflected Best Self Exercise (RBSE), developed from research by faculty members at the University of Michigan, is a practical tool that organizations all over the world use to integrate relational self affirmation. For a preview copy of the exercise or for more information about tools for Positive Organizational Scholarship, email