Thursday, February 20, 2014

Why Teamwork is a Powerful Trading Tool

In a recent post, I suggested that the quality of our downtime can serve as an engine for our work efforts.  The research of Barbara Fredrickson and colleagues suggests that the way this happens is that positive emotions generated from high quality life activity both broaden our potential range of thought and action and build new emotional and behavioral strengths.  One of my favorite studies from this literature created a positive or negative mood in subjects and then showed them quick visual displays of information.  The subjects with the positive mood processed the visual information at the edges of their visual fields significantly better than the subjects with the negative mood.  When in a positive state, we literally broaden our perspectives and take in fresh information.  When we are stressed and distressed, we tend to become tunnel-visioned and miss information that is right in front of us.  How relevant is that to markets?

What I've increasingly seen is traders working in pods or teams, where there are multiple eyes and ears on markets, widening the perceptual field.  An important function of this teamwork is to maintain positivity, even during periods of challenging performance.  Because the right team members challenge one another and bring camaraderie to the workplace, the social aspect of trading can become an important component of trading success.  Show me a high performance team and I'll show you one where belonging to the team adds fun, support, and stimulation to trading.  It's precisely in such an environment that team members are likely to broaden their market views and build fresh ideas and trading approaches.  

Further Reading:  A Quick Evaluation of the Emotional State of Your Trading