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Positive Psychology

Since World War II, the main focus of psychology has been on fixing what’s broken about people—alleviating depression, managing psychoses, dealing with loss, and the like. In 1998, psychologist Martin Seligman, during his year as President of the American Psychological Association, called for a new focus in psychology, one that paid equal attention to how people can thrive, flourish and perform at their best. Seligman emphasized the importance of applying the scientific method to questions such as what conditions lead to happiness, well-being, satisfaction or engagement.

In the years since his initial plea, there has been a groundswell of serious scientific research into the psychological factors that make life worth living. Researchers in other fields such as neuroscience, molecular biology, health science, and management science have joined in, and together they have made significant advances in understanding the important contribution to thriving made by numerous practices, including:

  • Gratitude
  • Giving
  • Building on strengths
  • Goal-Setting
  • Social Connection
  • Realistic Optimism
  • Making Meaning
  • Mindfulness
  • Exercise
  • Self-Determination (Autonomy, Relatedness + Achievement/Mastery)
  • Grit
  • Positive Emotions
  • Hope
  • and others

Since 2005, we at LawyerBrain have been exploring ways to harness these research findings to help law firms perform better. Our own investigations have identified ways to utilize these scientific principles to help law firms in the following areas:

  • Loss Prevention/Risk Management
  • Getting lawyers to collaborate or work in teams
  • Improving collegiality and civility
  • Building trust
  • Improving leadership
  • Building psychological Resilience
  • Managing stress
  • Coping with change
  • Getting partners to do the non-billable tasks that leaders ask them to do
  • Improving associate retention (particularly Millennials)
  • Increasing overall employee engagement
  • Inoculating lawyers against clinical depression
  • Generating ultra-high performance

If you want to improve your firm in any of these respects, we can help. Interested? Call LawyerBrain.