The X-Factor outside you So far in the book we have looked at how you smile, how you walk, how you gesture, what you wear and a host of other factors connected with your X-Factor. This chapter looks at other ways you can develop your X-Factor within your working environment.

Beautiful environments Have you ever walked into someone else’s classroom and experienced a ‘wow’ feeling? Isn’t this room beautiful? Students must love it in here. Or would they notice? Well, there is evidence to indicate that they do notice these things and that being in a visually pleasing classroom is good for your learning. Studies by Campbell (1979) and Woolin and Montagre (1981) have found that students are perceptive of ‘beautiful’ and ‘ugly’ rooms. When in beautiful rooms, they rated teachers higher, did better on tests and solved problems more effectively than in the ugly ones. Not surprisingly, this ‘visualaesthetic effect’ has been found in other scenarios. Human beings are conscious and aware of their visual-aesthetic surroundings. In research by Maslow and Mintz (1956) and Mintz (1956) the effects of placing people in an ‘ugly room’, an average room and a beautiful room were examined. While in these various rooms the participants were given negative prints of photographs. When in the beautiful room, the participants gave significantly higher ratings of the faces in the photographs as projecting ‘energy and well being’ than in say the ugly room. Indeed, the beautiful room was rated by the participants as producing feelings of pleasure, enjoyment, energy and comfort by contrast to the ugly room which provided feelings of monotony, discontent, fatigue and irritability (among others).