[i] Research by positive psychology scholars such as Martin Seligman, Sonja Lyubomirsky and Robert Biswas-Diener have found active reflection on things that are going well and why leads to greater wellbeing. In a two-week study where participants were asked to write down three good things that happened during their day and why, the researchers found an uplift in self-reports of happiness and positive effects were still being observed up to 6 months later. It’s important to write down what went well and not just to think it because this brings structure to your thinking and causes you to linger longer on the positive experience. It’s important to consider the why as well as the what, because this increases your sense of perceived control and agency. In her book The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want, Sonja Lyubomirsky discusses eight ways gratitude boosts happiness.
[ii] Devised by American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham (Johari is a contraction of their names) in 1955. The Johari Window represents information – feelings, experience, views, attitudes, skills, intentions, motivation, etc – within or about a person in relation to their group, from four perspectives:
1) Open quadrant: what is known by the person about him/herself and is also known by others
2) Blind quadrant: what is unknown by the person about him/herself but which others know
3) Hidden quadrant: what the person knows about him/herself that others do not know
4) Unknown quadrant: what is unknown by the person about him/herself and is also unknown by others
Find out more about the practical application of the Johari Window here.
[iii] See https://hbr.org/2013/03/the-ideal-praise-to-criticism
[iv] See the work of psychologist Professor John Gottman: https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-magic-relationship-ratio-according-science/
[v] Six Thinking Hats was created by Edward de Bono, and published in his 1985 book of the same name. It forces you or the team to move outside your habitual thinking style, and to look at things from a number of different perspectives. The hats are white (look at the facts); yellow (where you probe for the positives); black (devil’s advocate/consider the downsides); red (feelings, hunches and intuition); green (focuses on creativity and new possibilities) and blue (used to manage the thinking process). This technique facilitates team cohesion because everyone ‘wears’ the same hat at the same time. Mindtools.com is a resource we often signpost to clients and coachees and they give a good overview: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_07.htm
[vi] The pioneering sleep researcher Nathaniel Kleitman discovered something he named the “basic rest-activity cycle” — the 90 minute periods at night during which we move progressively through five stages of sleep, from light to deep, and then out again. While it’s much less well known, Kleitman also observed that our bodies operate by the same 90 minute rhythm during the day. When we’re awake, we move from higher to lower alertness every 90 minutes. Other researchers have called this our “ultradian rhythm.” Read more by the founder of The Energy Project, Tony Schwartz, here: https://hbr.org/2010/05/for-real-productivity-less-is
[vii] 9pm cut-off for smartphones: https://hbr.org/2018/09/sleep-well-lead-better and how sleep affects anxiety: https://digest.bps.org.uk/2019/11/21/a-lack-of-sleep-causes-anxiety-but-dont-worry-about-it/