July 2017 | Leadership
Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.
Contributor: Christopher Maxwell, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center for Leadership and Change Management, The Wharton School.
Put the benefits of awe experiences to work for yourself and your team.
What if you could encourage better decision-making, generosity, and cooperation in your organization? What if people were eager to learn more and increase their interest in improving business processes and outcomes? According to a great deal of recent research, these are some of the benefits of experiencing awe: a strong emotional response to encounters such as viewing dramatic landscapes, witnessing storms, observing inspiring architecture, listening to music, or having a religious experience. A new Berkeley study reveals that awe can even improve physical and mental health, possibly even lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes, clinical depression, heart disease, and arthritis — benefits similar to those enjoyed by eating right and exercising. As Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner puts it, “Don’t underestimate the power of goosebumps.”
While awe is most commonly thought of in terms of a response to natural wonders (think mountains, waterfalls, and canyons), you don’t have to travel far to experience it. In fact, you can induce feelings of awe quickly and easily in the workplace — and reap its benefits — without putting on hiking shoes or purchasing plane tickets (although those are worthwhile options). Consider the following four action steps and begin incorporating “awe interventions” in your workplace.
These steps provide ideas both large and small for inspiring awe in yourself and your team. Keltner says building in “mini awe interventions” during the day is key.
Nano Tools for Leaders® was conceived and developed by Deb Giffen, MCC, director of Custom Programs at Wharton Executive Education. Nano Tools for Leaders® is a collaboration between joint sponsors Wharton Executive Education and Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management. This collaboration is led by Professors Michael Useem and John Paul MacDuffie.
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