What do you see when you look at the walls in your office? Plain white paint? A few posters of founders? Or perhaps some notice boards and white boards? These represents wasted opportunity to boost productivity of your employees.
In an experiment conducted by two Dutch researchers, a bunch of students of a college were divided into two groups. Both groups were given a test in separate rooms. However one group was asked to talk about “what it would mean to be a professor” before taking the test while the other was asked to talk about “football hooliganism“. Could you guess which team average marks was higher? Well, the team that spoke about “what it would mean to be a professor“! Wondering why two teams of similar intellect scored differently on the same test? its because the first team was PRIMED to be SMART, since it is this word that is associated with professors. Since the first group students were primed positive feeling they did better than they would otherwise have and the second group was negatively primed, the first scored 55.6 whereas the second scored 42.6 (Malcolm Gladwell’s book blink Pg 56)
Power poses are powerful. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist at Harvard Business School, explains that when we are happy and confident, we express these power poses automatically and when we are unhappy and scared we tumble on our own body language. If we could train ourselves to express power pose when we start to feel sad and down, we could actually reverse our feelings! Simply put, when we are sad we cry and when we are elated we dance. So when you begin to feel sad, if you could make yourself put music on and start dancing, you would soon start feeling better. Initial few minutes of dance could feel phony since its out of sync with the feelings but soon our action dominates our brain chemicals called feelings. Watch this video:
So what could be done to office walls based on these two points that are well researched and proven?
Simple, Load the wall with POSITIVE WORDS AND POWER POSES!
Suddenly the employees would start exhibiting similar characteristics! And the HR team may have to continually put new ones to ensure people read, or use gamification techniques to get employees to pay attention to new wall items but all this WILL result in positive employees delivering better value to company.
Remember, any wall left white is a bunch of employees left wanting to be motivated.