Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Psychologist’s Mind: How to Shape Digital Workforce with Positive Psychology

The positive psychology is like oxygen to nurture life; the negative psychology does the opposite. 

Some say Western Management is based on psychology, and Eastern Management stems from philosophy. The psychology is the condensed version of mindset; whereas the philosophy is the abstract fact of the human society. In today’s always connected, increasingly decentralized workplace, how to shape digital workforce with positive psychology, though?


Gestalt Effect: Gestalt psychology tries to understand the laws of our ability to acquire and maintain meaningful perceptions in an apparently chaotic world. The Gestalt effect is the capability of our brain to generate whole forms, particularly with respect to the visual recognition of global figures instead of just collections of simpler and unrelated elements (points, lines, curves...). The central principle of Gestalt psychology is that the mind forms a global whole with self-organizing tendencies. This principle maintains that the human mind considers objects in their entirety before, or in parallel with, the perception of their individual parts; suggesting the whole is other than the sum of its parts. The fundamental "formula" of Gestalt theory might be expressed in this way, "There are whole, the behavior of which is not determined by that of their individual elements, but where the part-processes are themselves determined by the intrinsic nature of the whole. It is the hope of Gestalt theory to determine the nature of such wholes"

Decision-Making Psychology: The psychology to make a decision is embedded with the "choice" process (which includes identification, contemplation, evaluation, and selection of a universe of alternatives) within the thoughts block, rather than separated from it. Between thoughts and actions, is another chunk which may be called the 'inhibitive thoughts'. It's because of them that not all our thoughts are translated into actions. Those "inhibitive thoughts" in this choice process would then be derived from one's conscious reflection of prioritized Values, in making the final, and not reaching those more "ill-advised," choices. That's why "the most relevant aspect" of thoughts is choices...because that's ultimately what drives Actions (in this model).

The power to choose: As Viktor E Frankl's quote well put: "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. And in our response lies our growth and our freedom." The power to choose can be rephrased as desire. There are three fundamental motivators - fear, love and greed. And most of the humans’ actions have one or more these underlying them as the outcome. Now these motivations, in turn, reflect the deep desire for 'well-being' or 'a state of fulfillment' for the ego. The intensity of the desire has an inverse correlation with the 'power to choose'. Simply put, when you are possessed by greed, fear, a feeling of lack - the ability to choose diminishes. So when you introduce the 'choice' block, you may want to see how to handle the conflict between desire and the ability to choose. Emotions play a key role here as they reflect the state of the 'ego'. That means the more negative emotions, the less the power to choose. In order to shape a more creative and productive workforce, the management needs to build a fearless workplace, ownership is key and finding the right motivation and framing are crucial to successful interventions, encourage the power of choose”, enable purpose driven, and value adding innovation and contribution. The entire team gets a feeling of accomplishment because everyone was involved and is now invested in the concept in a way that no amount of persuasion can reproduce. It's genuine innovation.

Best or next practices based on proven psychological concept. Organizational Psychology delivers real value in terms of being a sounding board and providing real feedback on the current state of a business by delivering a number of interventions that ranged from facilitated workshops through to reflecting back information by analyzing a range of qualitative and quantitative data. Here are some practices from the psychological concept of Milton Erickson: 
1). matching the client - verbal and nonverbal communication 
2). Seeding ideas before they are required 
3). Metaphors. Using anecdotes to match and suggest 
4). Indirect suggestion vs. direct instruction
5). Reframing- taking an attitude and reapplying a new perspective. 
These all fit neatly into organizational work.

The psychology of Talent Management: The Predicting and shaping human behavior are hard and there is always going to be the error so expectation setting is of paramount importance. In saying that you will note that every single top performing organization has a strong focus on people. They anchor the focus in policy and strategy (recruitment, talent management, benefits etc.), This is the greatest area where talent management professionals can add value. The focus is on delivering a solution to a people related business issue; improving capability, reducing cost, increasing speed, removing barriers to service quality. So it tends to be about the outcome rather than the input. This drives a fairly pragmatic approach, also stays loyal to the core discipline of psychology and associated ethics.



One of the most influencing aspects of people's psychology is how they perceive the world around and how they relate to it. This is a function of things like intelligence, basic mental framework, and the collective psychology shapes the culture of organization, how people think and do things in the organization, by understanding the proving psychological concept and practice them, businesses can instill the positive psychology to their workforce, build culture of learning and innovation, and ultimately achieve high performance result.  

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