Social facilitation is a fancy term for the tendency to perform better when we’re working alongside others or just being watched. It’s so basic that even bugs do it. Learn how the presence of others affects your behavior and harness that power to improve your performance and do everything better.
General Principles Related To Social Facilitation
Try these tips to use social facilitation to your advantage:
- Engage in friendly comparisons. Studies show cyclists pedal faster when they bike together. It’s natural to try to keep up with the person next to you or exceed their output.
- Focus on effort. Observing the accomplishments of others inspires us to see new possibilities. We can see that success is based on hard work rather than being a matter of luck or a special talent.
- Surround yourself with reminders. There’s a good reason why many workplaces put up a list of top employees or sales figures.
- Give yourself something to strive for by noting the benchmarks you want to surpass.
- Capitalize on good moods. Social facilitation works best when we’re in good spirits. Hit the gym for an early morning yoga session or use these tips to energize your workday while at the office. You’ll feel more relaxed and happy.
- Visualize some company. If you’re on your own, you can still take advantage of the audience effect to improve your performance. For example, imagine experts are watching you and admiring your technique as you wash your car.
- Encourage attentiveness. Naturally, attentive audiences have more impact than those who are dozing off. Engage your audience and be an enthusiastic observer when your time comes to cheer others on.
- Promote accountability. It’s hard to tell if anyone is slacking off when a lot of people are moving one piece of heavy furniture. Build in ways to measure individual performance.
- Understand the opposite sex effect. Audiences of the opposite gender can sometimes inhibit performance if they make people nervous or distracted. Keep that in mind if the choir at your all girl’s school sounds off-key when they first venture out.
- Seek solitude for the tricky stuff. In contrast, we all tend to do better at new or complicated tasks when we can rehearse in private. Practice a new card trick before you show it to your friends. Work on your backhand in between tennis lessons.
Specific Applications of Social Facilitation:
- Work in teams. Many workplaces encourage employees to work in teams. You can also take the initiative to ask your supervisor to let you take over the conference room to assemble meeting materials or other group tasks.
- Give your laptop an afternoon out. Coffee shops and libraries are usually full of people who find they get more work done in public than if they lounge around at home.
- Even strangers can help each other out just by congregating in one place.
- Find a fitness buddy. Enlist a family member or friend to help you stick to your exercise regimen and other healthy lifestyle habits.
- We’re more likely to stay on track when someone else knows what we’re doing.
- Sign up for group activities. Almost anything that we do can be adapted for sharing with others. Put together a weekly poker night or basketball game. If you love to read, form a book club.
- Throw a party. It’s easy to feel isolated in a digital world. Stay in practice for socializing and cooperating with others. Accept more party invitations or throw your own. Work on your small talk and seek out opportunities to help others.
Put the power of social facilitation to work for you. Sharing activities promotes fun and productivity. It will be easier to improve your performance and accomplish your goals if you team up with others or just imagine you’re playing to an audience.
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