Alison Ledgerwood: A Simple Trick to Improve Positive Thinking (TEDxTalk)

The 2013 TEDxUCDavis talk by Alison Ledgerwood “A Simple Trick to Improve Positive Thinking” has had a significant influence on the presentation of positivity in the YCISL program. Her graphic illustrating how a positive event has a sharp peak effect, and a negative event has a blunt dragging effect is used in the workshop slide set to show how critical it is for leaders to work smart and diligently at maintaining stakeholder positivity. This further ties to the sustainability of intrinsic motivation which is also driven by constant positive thinking.

In her talk, she specifically describes the effect of informing people about a surgical procedure in terms of a success rate versus a failure rate. She further gives examples of (1) a governor’s likability based on which direction he initially messages, and (2) how long it takes people to convert between good news and bad news. This, I find, is an amazing coincidence. Do you?

Positive thinking and framing is an essential innovator and leadership skill. Innovators with the skill maintain their sense of purpose and intrinsic motivation. Leaders with the skill are more agile and appreciated. When a crisis unfolds, these skills go on display and accelerate a successful recovery.

If you are willing to invest in your positive thinking, the media is currently awash with negatively framed statements. See if you can re-phrase some of these statements in a way that stimulates “glass half full” feelings and a sense of hope. Learn to turn negative messaging into positive messaging before you seek meaning and knowledge. You will feel more productive and empowered.



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