Martin Seligman on Learned Optimism in Management

March 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

Martin Seligman Learned Optimism

Seligman is a psychologist and his work is very helpful for those teaching or rearing children. However there is much in this book that is helpful for management also.
He was hired to help Metropolitan Life, one of the largest insurance companies, with one of the largest cadre of salespeople at that time. They were using aptitude test to select recruits for sale people, investing millions of dollars in them only to find that many dropped out in the first few years. When they added Seligman’s tests of optimism, their retention rates when up dramatically. Someone who just barely failed the aptitude test but rated highly in optimism was much more likely to be a successful salesperson than someone who had a high aptitude but little optimism. They stop hiring the high aptitude but bottom half in optimism. Both moves increased retention and improved sales.

However, when asked to apply the same measures to the executive suite, Seligman had reservations. The executive suite needed people who could accurately judge the situation, while optimists are not very accurate.

Optimism may be measure, and may be induced, by an explanatory style that posits all bad occurrences as temporary and all good occurrences as rooted in the permanent.

“I did poorly on the test because I failed to study enough.”
“I did well on the test because I am smart.”
“My class is failing this points because the parents are not…”
“My class is failing on these points because I was distracted and so taught other items.
“I didn’t reach my sales goals because the market is down.”
“I didn’t reach my sales goals, because, gosh, I just didn’t spend the time contacting prospects that I should have.”

How can you model optimism for your staff?
How can you refrain from optimistic errors when doing management planning?

Entry filed under: Character training, Management & leadership.

On Becoming a Leader 6 Questions to Find Your Reason for Being — Leadership Freak

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


GDPR

Orgstrat serves mostly people in Texas, although Sharon would be happy to serve others. We think we are already compliant with GDPR. We use any info you give us only for the purposes to which you agreed. At any time you can have your info erased from the Orgstrat’s database. We never sell or share the info.

The contact form below is ONLY for a new online course on how to start a preschool If you want to be in *my list* so you are notified of seminars I am doing or any specials I am running, just email me at info@orgstrat.net.

Easy Sign up Contact Form

This is a signup for starting a congregationally affiliated preschool and to be notified of related conference or products.

I will not explode your inbox. I will not sell or share your info.

Sharon’s books

The Government is not a Village. Dialogs across boundaries, busts myths, reveals real science. Offers a positive way forward in early education policy. Go to www.lulu.com or www.thegovernmentisnotavillage.com Swim with the Dolphins, not with the Sharks Sharon's classic book on conflict reduction available at www.amazon.com This is instrumental music, great for calming and focusing. I recommend it for your classroom. WHOLETONES

What People are Saying

How could this session be improved? No, this was perfect actually. Loved that it allowed for discussion.
“Knowledge of presenter is outstanding; makes it easy to sit through training.”
“Very helpful to use in my classroom.”
“I enjoyed Sharon’s enthusiasm, eagerness to connect with her audience and her down to earth personality that really brought forth new tactics in teaching, but also interesting insights to people skills in all! I will implement much of her lesson into my classroom as well as my home and personal life.”

“I love love loved the tidbits of the history of teaching you included…. I would love to dig deeper into how … education has changed and [talk about how to] “get back to basics.”

What did you like best about this seminar? She had an emphasis on Christ centered education. (This was in a church affiliated preschool.)

What did you like best?

  • Where to find books [relating to] morals.
  • Plenty of time for discussion was given.
  • Explanation of the class which I could understand well.
  • Learning how to incorporate values into our planning.

What I like to hear most, and often do: “We want to have you back. When can you come? “

Let me know what challenges you are facing.

We all face dragons and wish someone would come along side and help. Let me know what challenge you are facing. If I can't help, I might know someone else who can. Sharon@orgstrat.net . 512/534-5425 - direct line

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 453 other followers

Thanks to StatCounter for more stats on this site.

web
analytics

%d bloggers like this: