Harvard University researchers Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer did a study on “Small Wins”. They claim “The Progress Principle” is the single greatest influence on human creative output, motivation and well-being.
Their study involved over 12,000 observations. They found good performance depends on consistent progress in meaningful work.
They found boosting the feeling of progress were actions or events they labeled “Catalysts” or “Nourishers”.
- “Catalysts” defined actions that directly supported work including help from a person or group
- “Nourishers” defined events of indirect support such as showing respect and words of encouragement
Creating a feeling of lack of progress were actions or events they labeled “Inhibitors” or “Toxins”.
- “Inhibitors” defined actions toward the person that directly failed to support or actively hindered work
- “Toxins” defined events that were indirect toward the person discouraging or undermining work efforts
The Implications? There are three.
- Acknowledge Progress in Work
- Be a Catalyst or Nourisher Toward Work Progress
- Be Hard on the Problem, Not on the Person.
Onward and Upward,