Teach-Out Videos

Thrive in Trying Times Teach-Out Videos

Learn how positive practices can help you thrive during these challenging times.

In times of crisis, like the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic, we can still find ways to thrive by using positive practices. When many of us feel challenged enough just getting through the day, thriving simply means finding ways to meet those challenges – large or small – with creativity, resourcefulness, and agility.

These videos were created as a set of resources to help people think about finding potential during trying times. They focus on reframing concepts like thriving in terms of Positive Organizational Scholarship – our field of inquiry – showing you a way to think at both the individual and community levels.

These videos were produced as part of the Thrive in Trying Times Teach-Out produced by the Center for Positive Organizations and University of Michigan Center for Academic Innovations. The Teach-Out was designed and curated by Monica Worline. An archived version of the full teach-out can be found here.

The Flourishing Triangle

This is a grounding theoretical concept that helps explain the science of what it means to thrive. Jane Dutton, the Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Business Administration and Psychology and co-founder of the Center for Positive Organizations, describes the concept of the Flourishing Triangle, a seemingly simple framework that reveals many possibilities.

Culture: It Matters More Than Ever

Chris Murchison, a Visiting Business Leader at the Center, shares observations about the importance of culture, especially during times of crises.

Positive Emotional Culture: Choosing Helper Feelings

Mandy O’Neill, an Associate Professor of Management at George Mason University, encourages us to consider the many emotions that can describe culture – more than 135 unique emotions! Of these many emotions, 40-50% are positive. But it’s easy, especially during crises, for negative emotions to rise to the top of our minds. If we can look for helper or amplifier emotions to counter these negative emotions, we can help change our own experience.

Reflected Best Self: See Simple Stories Told About Us

If you asked the people in your life about a time they saw you at your best, they are likely to tell a story that might surprise you, because you probably don’t even remember it. Julia Lee Cunningham, an Assistant Professor Of Management and Organizations, shares how it’s the small things we do when we are drawing on our strengths that people remember. Hearing about these stories can help us see how our everyday actions can help us, and others, thrive.

Positive Identities: Affirm your Way

Laura Morgan Roberts, a Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, showed us how important positive identities are, but how hard it can be to maintain them during hard times. She explains how the G.I.V.E. model can help sustain positive identities.

Energy Management: How to Keep Going and Slow Down

You know the feelings of a post-lunch slump? Or the energizing experience of a brainstorm? Learn about energy management and how you can identify and change your daily energy peaks with Gretchen Spreitzer, the Alessi Professor of Business Administration.

Work at a Distance: Making Four Essential Connections

Most of us are accustomed to having physical boundaries between where we work and where we live. But physical distancing measures have changed that for many of us. Sue Ashford, the Michael and Susan Jandernoa Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan, describes four connections that are crucial for engaging in remote studying or work.

Small Practices for Big Payoffs

During hard times, it’s easy to focus on negative thoughts or bad news. Highlighting what we’re grateful for helps us not only weather challenges, but thrive. Kim Cameron, the William Russell Kelly Professor of Management and Organizations, shares evidence of gratitude’s positive impact on students and employees.

Positive Communication Routines: Simply Say Hello

Amy Young, a Lecturer of Business Communication, shares the powerful impact we can have on others by simply offering a greeting. Saying hello to others offers them access to a sense of belonging, especially when done with intentional warmth and welcome. Saying hello creates a network effort where everyone around us benefits from more of those high quality connections that help us thrive.

Reciprocity: Asking for What you Need and Helping Others

Reciprocity is the idea that you help others and, in turn, they help you. It also means paying it forward. Hear from Wayne Baker, the Faculty Director of the Center for Positive Organizations and the Robert P. Thome Professor of Business and Professor of Sociology, how this can help us build a generous community. He shares why you should freely ask for what you need and generously help others.

Strengths Spotting: See and Share the Good in Others

Betsy Erwin, the Senior Associate Director and Faculty Associate at the Center for Positive Organizations, shares a practice for seeing strengths in other people and calling them out, which we can do with anyone we meet, strengthening our support no matter where we are.

Post-Traumatic Growth

Trauma is a moment or event that challenges our assumptions about the world. But even as we are struggling through a traumatic experience, we can rebuild our understanding of who we are and, and through that process, change and growth can happen. In this video, Mari Kira, a lecturer and research scientist at the University of Michigan, speaks about the ways in which we can grow through trauma.

A Closing Story and Well Wishes

Monica Worline invites Bob Quinn, Professor Emeritus of Management and Organizations and the University of Michigan, and the third of the three co-founders of the Center for Positive Organizations, to share a story that illuminates why dark times can call us into becoming beacons of light. As you listen, remember that we all are artists of light and shadow. How are you working with your palette of light and shadow right now?