Positive approach trumps cynicism and distance

Achievement

Try telling a bunch of loyal and long-standing employees who are being displaced that you’re sending them on a training course on positive psychology and you might expect a sceptical response, if not outright cynicism.

That was the case when a group of 15 scientists from a global pharma entered the room to take part in Axiom’s Taking a Positive View workshop recently. However, just two hours later the US-based participants were feeling buoyed and ready to embark on the next chapters in their careers with renewed enthusiasm and resilience.

Even more remarkably, the workshop was facilitated remotely, via video conference. Axiom founder Chris Carey ran the session from one of the client’s European sites where he was due to run a face-to-face version of the workshop the next day.

Says Chris: “At the outset, several participants admitted they were feeling demoralised and weren’t sure they wanted to attend. That’s completely understandable. However, during the workshop they became convinced of the merits of taking a positive view and the implications of not doing so. They learned to challenge their inner critic and to gather evidence for a more balanced view, possibly even a positive interpretation.

“As a result, they finished the session engaged and much more motivated – and with tools and techniques they could apply right away in their work and personal lives.”

Overcoming remote challenges

“I felt some trepidation about how it would be to work with people over a video conference on something as personal as their own feelings, beliefs and behaviour,” says Chris. “I wondered how easy it would be to generate the discussion and interactivity that are so vital to a good workshop. It certainly tested the advice we give our clients on how to run remote meetings!

“We can now confidently add this workshop to the list of those we can run remotely. This approach enables clients to give their people around the world easy access to our communication and performance training – and without the expense of travel and accommodation for our facilitator.”

The next day, Chris successfully delivered the workshop in person to 35 scientists who, while they weren’t facing redundancy, were disenchanted by changes to their roles and workload. As you’d hope given the topic of the workshop, feedback was very positive.

Taking a Positive View is for people and teams faced with challenges, cynicism and negativity – well-founded or not – who want to create positive outcomes. Previous participants have included whole project teams as well as leaders tasked with delivering major change.

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