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If you are about to facilitate a meeting about a change in the workplace, you have a potential conundrum on your hands.

The very thought of a significant change creates stress and raises our blood pressure; yet, we think and process more effectively when we are in a positive state of mind.  By applying some of the latest neuroscience, we can increase participant optimism when entering into a challenging conversation simply by getting them to think about positive past emotions and experiences.

The simple questions below will lead your team into more of a hopeful and optimistic state of mind and ready them to tackle the challenge at hand.



At the beginning of your meeting ask the following questions to prime them for the work ahead.  Give everyone 2 minutes to think about their answers independently.  Then, let everyone share their responses.  As they report out, listen and acknowledge the positive emotions shared.  You’ll feel the mood shift.

Think about a significant change in your past (work or personal) that was very stressful and upsetting at the time; but looking back at it now, you are grateful it occurred because something very good came out of it. 

  1. What was the change?
  2. What good came from it?
  3. How do you feel about that change now?

After the activity, you can transition back to your current challenge, with some words such as, “My hope is that a year from now, we’ll be looking back at this challenge with the same amount of appreciation and optimism.”

About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams and Forward, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.

Learn. Share. Practice. Move FORWARD.  Join the Better Teams community, FORWARD, to network and grow with some of the most experienced professionals in the field of team building and facilitation.  LEARN MORE

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One Response

  1. Wonderful and creative. It is very important for me and my new learners to learn some quick wins and share their own.

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