The Heliotropic Effect
According to the articles by positiveorgs and simplicable the heliotropic effect can be summarized as "The fact that every living system has a tendency toward light and away from darkness, or a tendency towards that which is life giving and away from that which endangers life. For example, if you put a plant near a window that faces the sun, you will soon notice that the plant begins leaning toward the light. In other words, it is leaning toward the light that gives it life".
But why is this important? Because today we will talk about how being positive, apart from a rather cringe worthy culture, has actual merits and benefits that can be applied in our everyday lives.
Psychology and Personal Experiences
It is a known fact, or it should be at least) that our emotional state and actions are more like dominoes than a sequence of unrelated occurrences. With self-fulfilling prophecies a well documented and known effect, one can argue that one's overall attitude towards something, lets say, a job, can impact the general performance and outcome there.
The Heliotropic Effect is a method that can be used, and I have personally experienced this, as a means to adjust one's mentality to better improve in their life. When battling from depression one of the things I had to first combat is my negative mindset.
Sure, the world is not full of roses and rainbows, and personally i hate the entire "positive energy" culture for ignoring the darker aspects of our existence, but I did notice that the more negative thoughts I had, and the more I focused on the negative, the more negative things would happen around me.
One can safely argue, that the volume of negative and positive things around me, probably did not change that much, I was just "conditioned" to notice the negative ones and ignore the positives. But that is something often misunderstood about mentality. If you feel it, then it's real, and if you do not, then it is not.
You can be surrounded by all the best things in the world, but as far as you are in a mindset that you only see the bad things, then those things, effectively, do not exist for you.
That is why positive thinking can go a long way. And that is why focusing on the positive, will bring you more positive things. If you are able to view and "extract" the good from any given situation, then surely you will be more able, willing and in the proper mental state to take on more things as they arrive, and better cope with your problems.
But how does this help with our daily jobs?
Positivity In Action
Now things are going to get tricky and we are going to exit the lane of "personal experiences". According to the article by The VCG "Researchers Cross and Parker (authors of The Hidden Power of Social Networks) suggested that there are five ways we can promote positive energy: through compelling goals, by allowing for meaningful contributions, by creating a sense of engagement, by establishing a perception of progress, and though believing in success".
So it is clear that the Heliotropic effect can have its merits in our work mindset. Another article by Growth Coaching International, puts the focus on why this positive outlook can enhance leadership and coaching. "New developments in social network analysis are now revealing the ‘positive energisers’ in organisations and conversely the ‘energy drainers’ - who is attracted to who and who avoids who. This research is beginning to indicate just what impact these positive energisers can have on organisation culture and performance. Quite a bit it seems".
The article then proceeds to expand on it's statement and mentioning a few key elements of its application. Evidently, having those positive people around can imbue others with a sense that "the task can be completed" thus inspiring others to their example.
As a matter of fact Kim Cameron co-founded of the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship at the University of Michigan, has published books and has conducted research on the subject. During an interview back at 2015 he said "...The job and duty of a leader is to help create an organization where it is easy to be supportive and to practice virtuousness, compassion and kindness. Where it is legitimate and natural to even love one another. When that happens, the data is very clear: organizational performance goes up".
Whether you are all up for the culture surrounding positivity or you are like me and generally feel a bit defensive on the whole subject, one thing is for sure. The Heliotropic Effect has it's undeniable merits, and is something you should at least consider applying to your job, management style and everyday life.