“3 Tools To Increase Your Productivity Immediately” with Senia Maymin, Ph.D, Profit from the Positive, LLC
By Tej Ravindra
April 2014 Event
April’s SVPMA speaker was author and executive coach Senia Maymin. Senia outlined and taught three tools that we can apply right away to increase productivity in both our professional and personal lives.
The key points that she addressed were: How can we influence better, How to better align everyone in the same direction, and How to spend more time in Strategy.
To this end, Senia introduced the idea of positive psychology, which has been the topic of her thesis and subsequent research. It is the study of what has worked well and should not be confused with “positive thinking.” From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_psychology: How can we use positive psychology to influence behavior and create behavior change?
If you are having trouble initiating and maintaining a goal directed behavior:
Tool 1: Set a trigger with a specific if-then. This is a mechanism of passing on some control to your environment and using that as a trigger to initiate action. An example is associating your breakfast as a trigger event for taking a vitamin that you have forgotten to take.
In work situations, this is also referred to as “pre-mortem planning” and is commonly done by firefighters, traders, VCs, etc,
How to better align everyone in the same direction?
This was personally my favorite topic as a product manager, since motivated and happy teams create great products as they bring out the best in people. Senia shared some powerful examples of how there has been a proven productivity increase of almost 40% with frequent recognition and encouragement.
Tool 2: Frequent recognition and encouragement (FRE): People care deeply about peer respect and recognition. It is proven that this is a key motivator for most people. If this is the case, why don’t we use it more often? It is because we are trained to be problem solvers and hence approach situations with an analyzing mindset and not to identify and point out what is already working well. This negative bias prevents higher FRE. To make FRE effective, praise the process, not the person, so success can be replicated. Praise to the back as word travels fast and most of all be genuine and present when you give recognition/encouragement. Ideally, do it in person.
How to create/spend more time in Strategy?
Tool 3: Trick yourself into getting started
What is the smallest action you can take for the biggest impact? Identify a portion of your work that can be small enough to do in about 5 minutes, and do it! This step in the right direction will get you started.
For more examples and tools, email Senia Maymin at email@example.com
Tejaswini Ravindra is an experienced product leader who has worked on consumer internet, mobile and SAAS products. She has worked at eBay, Fair Isaac, IBM in product and engineering roles and is currently involved in Product and Strategy consulting for early stage start ups. Her interest areas range from Analytics to Fashion and her passion is end user experience.