How can schools improve performance in the workforce?
Author Shawn Achor, presenter at the 2016 National Conference on Education in Phoenix, Arizona, spoke on how schools and other organizations could improve performance in the workforce. Supported by 10 years of research, he highlighted that if you train your brain initially to be positive at work such as being generous, kind and helpful to co-workers compared to working harder, this will generate higher success in the workforce.
Achor identified patterns for high performance in organizations based on research at Fortune 500 companies and students at Harvard University. He noted that 75 percent of academic accomplishments and jobs are predicted by our optimism, social support network and the capability to manage stress and energy in a positive way rather than by our intelligence.
Achor found that individuals in all fields could train their brain to become more positive. He noted that just by getting individuals to write three new things that they are grateful for 21 consecutive days, their brain will begin to scan the world for the positive things rather than for the negative ones.
In support of this research, Achor shared with the participants at the conference, a video of Cardinal School District (CSD) in Eldon, Iowa that had been a low performing district. The superintendent at CSD noted in the video that he implemented the positive psychology training across the school district among all stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, etc.), and significantly improved the learning environment.
For other schools and organizations wanting to adopt the ideas of Achor, it can be found in his New York Times Best Selling book, The Happiness Advantage and The Orange Frog, a parable based on positive psychology. In the Orange Frog, a frog named Spark turns orange the more positive he becomes throughout his life; subsequently, his positivity spreads to other frogs in his habitat.
Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of 11 books: “Jacob’s Dream! A Lesson on Alphabets and Continents,” “How to Eradicate Bullying,” “Education Questions to be Answered,” “Current Issues and Answers in Education,” “How to Eradicate Hazing,” “Professional Career Paths,” “Your Answers to Education Questions,” “How to revitalize the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.” “Completing the Dissertation: Tips, techniques and real-life experiences from Ph.D. graduates.” “Jacob’s Dream, A Story of Careers for Children” and Jacob’s Dream, A Story of Animals in Africa. He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper. Holmes is a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]