Your Hope is a firm foundation for your personal life, but what if Hope is a vital part of your business success as well?
Think about a time that you had where you were energized and engaged at a place of employment. What made it an enjoyable experience?
Now think about a time that you felt discouraged and powerless at a job. What made it an unpleasant experience?
You might list several answers. Everything from pay, workload, working conditions, management, relocation, vision, and poorly designed or unrealistic goals. A manager who believed in you or one that was toxic.
You might have had an enjoyable and unpleasant experience at the same company.
What all of the experiences have in common is you. You were the one constant.
What was the difference between an enjoyable and unpleasant job? Scientific research suggests that the answer is Hope.
Your Hope Matters because it Can Predict Goal Achievement
Hope is a predictor of goal achievement. Few individuals reach their goals without hope.
Shane J. Lopez, a Gallup scientist, and researcher completed a statistical examination of more than one hundred hope studies conducted by psychologists and educators worldwide to determine the effect of hope on academic success, business outcomes, and well-being (happiness).
“The science of hope shows that how we think about the future is a key determinant of success in school, work, and life. Other conditions being equal, hope leads to a 12 percent gain in academic performance, a 14 percent bump in workplace outcomes, and a 10 percent happiness boost for hopeful people.
To put this in practical terms, a group of typical high-hope students scores a letter grade better on a final exam than their low-hope peers. A group of high-hope salespeople sells as much product in six days as their low-hope colleagues do in seven days. And high-hope people are just plain happier than their low-hope friends”. Shane J. Lopez – Making Hope Happen, Create the Future You Want for Yourself and Others.
Hope increases your academic success, business outcomes, and happiness in life. Who wouldn’t want to be more successful and happy?
If hope can predict goal achievement, why are we so reluctant as individuals and businesses to measure it?
Your Hope Can Be Measured
It is an axiom of productivity that anything that can be measured can be improved.
The Egyptians understood that a universal standard of length would result in quicker building times and structural stability in the pyramids. They distributed rods of the same size to their workers.
How do we measure anything? We compare it against something else.
The To-do list is a measurement of comparison. I can compare my list to what I accomplished.
Did you know that the most common form of tracking productivity, the To-do list, gained traction just before the beginning of the 18th century?
How do you measure your hope? Psychologists have suggested the Adult Hope Scale. Much like the prior generations who created units that measured length, weight, distance, and time, the Hope Scale attempts to provide a universal measurement of hope.
Here is a copy of the Hope Scale.
The Hope Scale asks two questions, Do we see options, can we envision a better future (Pathway)? Do we believe that our actions can positively affect our future (Agency)?
Standards of measurements allow us to see how some things stay the same, some decrease, and some increase.
The value of the Hope Scale is that it creates a baseline for future comparison.
Your Hope Can Be Influenced (Increased)
There are two Indicators (behaviors) that help increase hope: healthy relationships and consistent self-care.
Healthy Relationships. Your Hope can be increased by pursuing healthy relationships.
Evaluate your relationships. Are they adding value to your life? Are they toxic or life-giving? How can you tell the difference?
Not everyone has the luxury of barring poisonous people from their lives, but we can work to minimize the damage.
We can voluntarily stop watching the news, following someone on Facebook, or taking breaks with someone at work with a relentlessly negative person.
We can choose to forgive a co-worker but not necessarily actively engage a person who has harmed us.
Practical Tip. If you want to increase your levels of hope, spend time with someone hopeful. Their hope will (hopefully) rub off on you.
We all have needs. Do you know what you need from your friends and co-workers?
People Fuel by John Townsend will help you understand what you need to lead people and develop authentic hope-filled relationships.
Consistent Self-Care. Your hope can be increased by pursuing consistent self-care.
Self-care is holistic: it involves our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It is not an afterthought or something that randomly happens.
Look at your digital or physical calendar. Do you have a regularly planned time to consider your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health?
If not, you may have to be ruthless with your calendar and establish self-care as a priority.
Practical tip. If you want to increase your hope levels, then schedule times to rest intentionally, relax, recharge, and refocus.
Call to action
Hope matters. It is a great predictor of academic success, business outcomes, and personal well-being. What practical steps can you take this week to measure and increase your hope levels? How can you provide hope to your co-workers or those who report to you?