The old saying goes “fake it ’til you make it,” but when it comes to positivity at work, research shows that cultivating the real deal is better than putting on a brave face. The research, from the University of Arizona, found that workers who actively try and cultivate a more positive work attitude enjoy more rewarding workplace relationships and growth on the job.
The researchers call this “deep acting.” Rather than simply slapping on a smile and pretending to be positive at work, actually attempt to find gratitude and optimism in your daily tasks and workplace experiences. Before you know it, your brain will cultivate true gratification.
The study found that “surface actors” who fake positivity at work often do so to impress management or coworkers, but those who actively try and change their work attitude and culture for the better reap higher performance and more meaningful connection with coworkers.
The author of the study, Allison Gabriel says, “The main takeaway is that ‘deep actors’ – those who are really trying to be positive with their co-workers – do so for prosocial reasons and reap significant benefits from these efforts.”