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How can you give autonomy when there's no choice?
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Giving each other autonomy at work is crucial. Here's how to do it better.
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How can you give autonomy when you don't give choices?

 

Autonomy is vital for everyone at work, and research suggests millennials value autonomy even more than previous generations. Giving autonomy to others at work at first seems straight-forward: don't micro-manage people and provide choices. But science suggests delivering autonomy is more than just that. 

First of all, while choices provide autonomy, not all choices are created equally. Research suggests that in some situations, the more choices you give someone, the less happy they are with the choice they make. (For scientific sources, please see "Choose From Three" in this list of scientific sources for our Choose Happiness @ Work game.) Limiting choices may result in more happiness for the chooser, so you might consider giving people you work with three, two, or even just one option... 

You might be thinking "Wait, one option doesn't deliver autonomy!" But autonomy research suggests you don't actually have to have choices to have autonomy. If you want to be doing what you are doing, you have autonomy even if you have no choice. This makes getting buy-in from a colleague crucial. By explaining the why behind your request, you can deliver your colleagues autonomy even if they have no choice about whether to comply. As Italian diplomat Italian Vare said "Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way."

Do you get enough autonomy at work? What happens to your motivation when you get it, or you don't? How do you deliver autonomy to your colleagues at work? 

As always, we would love to hear from you! Let us know your thoughts by replying to this email, leaving a comment on our blog or Facebook page, or by tweeting to @ScottCrab.

          - Scott Crabtree and the Happy Brain Science Team 

In your next team meeting, deliver autonomy through choices and play your way to a thriving team! Learn more about our new game, Choose Happiness @ Work. Save 15% with code 'Newsletter15'; our thanks for subscribing!

Upcoming Events

Below is the list of organizations and events where we will be teaching people to apply the science of flourishing over the next month+. Please note the first one is open to the public.

Advancing the Careers of Technical Women (ACT-W), Portland, OR
Truly Tapping Your Strengths--And Those of Your Team!
Sunday, April 24th
Presented by Ayla Lewis
This event is open to the public! Register here!

Oregon Judicial Department, Salem, OR
Truly Tapping Your Strengths--And Those of Your Team!
Wednesday April 27th

Presented by Scott Crabtree

Department of Human Services, Salem, OR
The Science of Being Happy and Productive at Work 
Tuesday, May 10th 

Presented by Scott Crabtree

Lower Columbia College, Longview, WA
The Science of Happiness
Monday, May 16th
Presented by Ayla Lewis

Oregon Judicial Department, Corvallis, OR
Truly Tapping Your Strengths--And Those of Your Team!
Thursday May 19th

Presented by Scott Crabtree

Vashon Island Fire and Rescue, Vashon, WA
The Science of Happiness
Sunday, May 22nd
Presented by Ayla Lewis

InnSight Hotel Management Group, Springfield, OR
Collaboration through Candid Conversation
Monday, May 23rd
Presented by Scott Crabtree and Katherine Cooper
 

Our Mission


Happy Brain Science delivers increased creativity, productivity, and profits by applying neuroscience and psychology to boost morale and engagement.

Contact us to boost your organization by making brains happy through a workshop, coaching...and now our card game!
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