Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

8-2015

Abstract

Competition in organizations is embraced as a fundamental element of success. As businesses champion the need to win, employees often compete with their own teammates, sometimes creating a culture of distrust and zero-sum solutions. But increasingly scholars are recognizing the need to focus on the relational aspects of organizations, which have been shown to deliver many benefits including those associated with increased positive affect and better working relationships.

This paper explores a singular relational behavior, that of giving others the benefit of the doubt. To this end, I introduce the construct of Gracious Mindset (GM) as a mindset to consciously practice, when endeavoring to give others the benefit of the doubt, assuming a respectful interpretation of the other’s intent or motivation in situations where the benefits outweigh the risks. I explore this concept in the context of an organization and the relevant enabling aspects including psychological safety, civility, humility, perspective taking, trust, optimistic explanatory style, compassion, and forgiveness.

Keywords

gracious mindset, benefit of the doubt, positive organizations, psychological safety, civility, humility, perspective taking, trust, optimistic explanatory style, compassion, forgiveness, positive psychology, positive organizational psychology, benevolence bias

Topic

Well-Being/Flourishing, Business/Work

Format

Literature Review

Included in

Psychology Commons

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Date Posted: 17 September 2015