Imagining positive co-workers improves performance

January 13th, 2012 - 7:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 13 (IANS) People who conjure positive imaginary co-workers turn in better performance at workplace, above and beyond the call of duty, suggests a study.

The results showed that your perceptions of others, even imaginary ones, says a lot about what kind of person you really are, said Peter Harms, University of Nebraska-Lincoln assistant professor of management, who led the study.

“When you make up imaginary peers, they are completely a product of how you see the world, because of that we can gain better insight into your perceptual biases,” said Harms, the Journal of Organisational Behaviour reported.

“That tells us a lot about how you see the world, how you interpret events and what your expectations of others are,” he said, according to a university statement.

The study is based on hundreds of working adults in a range of fields, it specifically targeted their psychological capital, a cluster of personality characteristics associated with the ability to overcome obstacles and the tendency to actively pursue one’s goals, Harms said.

Those who envisioned workers as engaging in proactive behaviours or readily rebounding from failures were actually happier and more productive in their real-life work, the researchers found.

“We’ve known that workplace relations are a self-fulfilling prophecy for some time, if a manager believes that their workers are lazy and incompetent, they will elicit those patterns in their employees,” added Harms.

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