Peak of the week – a small idea to help build positivity in teams

23rd June 2020

In May I attended a fantastic webinar by Jamie Peacock, ex-captain of the Great Britain rugby league team. He spoke about understanding your strengths, how to build resilience, self discipline and how to foster positivity in your teams. It was a fascinating insight into leadership. The webinar focused on positive steps we could take in these unprecedented times and he gave much practical advice. One of the initiatives that he talked about we have taken on board and now use every week – Peak Of The Week.

Research shows that if you have a more positive outlook in life you’ll be happier, however, naturally humans are not positive all the time and will tend to focus on the negative rather than the positive. We have a negativity bias. The reason for this is that negative events have a stronger effect on our brains than positive ones. Ask a team to give their feedback on an event or a project they will always, without fail, focus on the negative. 

So, one way to improve happiness in your teams is to consciously encourage people to focus on the good things rather than dwell on failures. Making a whole team “happy” involves many, many moving parts but fostering positivity is a step in the right direction. It gets people thinking positive thoughts. At Secret Source we do a few things, here are three changes we’ve made to our meetings:

  1. Retros – what went well – At the start of every project retrospective / post mortem we dedicate time to saying what has gone well. Answers like – “we finished it” and “I’m still here” are not really helpful so we really encourage everyone participating to focus on the small wins.

  2. Good news – Every management meeting we start with “Good News”. Starting a meeting on a positive note defines the direction the meeting will take and focusing on the positives helps foster a productive meeting.

  3. Peak of the Week – every Friday all our staff get together and tell each other their “Peak of The Week”, what has been the highlight of their week. It can be work related, it can be something that happened at home. We’ve had “seeing my son get straight A grades in his end of year report”, “Meeting up with friends for the first time in three months”, “getting really positive feedback from my team and the client” and “hearing my ten year old daughter nail “You Shook Me All Night Long” on the ukulele”. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it gets people thinking about what has made them happy. For some this may be hard, if so, you can encourage people to write down the good things as they happen during the week so they have something to say.

There are many, many facets to positive thinking and team happiness and there are books and books on the subject. However getting your team to try to focus on good things that have happened,  the small wins, the win of the week, their personal peak …  can really make a difference, if only to that one meeting.

At Secret Source team happiness is one of our key values, if you’d like to chat more about the initiatives we’ve been trialling over the past few months please feel free to get in touch at [email protected], I’m only too happy to share what we’ve learnt.