You can be a positive deviant

Every team or community has outliers – people who think and behave in exceptional ways. Positive psychologists call these people ‘positive deviants. If you become a positive deviant you will stand out as a thought leader and a master practitioner in your field.   

Positive deviants succeed where others fail. They learn from others and they design new solutions to old problems.  So how can you think in a constructively deviant way? There are three main steps involved in thinking like a positive deviant.  

  1. First, pinpoint a problem that the majority of people struggle with in your business. This should be a problem which impacts efficiency because it happens so often.  
  2. Next, seek out people who  do not seem to struggle with that problem. Look for people who are succeeding where others fall short, despite equal access to resources. Observe them. Watch what they do and how they do it. The more you understand their behaviour, the easier it will be to take on that behaviour yourself 
  3. And that’s step three: adopting – and possibly improving – success strategies which already exist. Keep doing your new, deviant behaviour until it is no longer deviant, but a habit.  
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The benefits of learning to think with constructive deviance include increased creativity, better problem-solving, enhanced relationships and more personal engagement with your work. So get started today!  

About the author of this tip: 

Eleanor is a master trainer and facilitator.  She specialises in positive psychology, helping leaders and HR practitioners build flourishing organisations. She is known as a creative, dynamic facilitator with a flair for helping ‘positive deviants’ excel at work. Eleanor is the author of the Positive Psychology Toolkit for HR and L&D practitioners. She runs a range of practitioner retreats and workshops for trainers and facilitators. 

Want to run training in positive deviance strategies for your team? Call Eleanor Shakiba. 0433 126 841