You are bombarded with bad and negative news and images more than ever before. From TV programs and news broadcasts to the endless updates and notifications pinging your smart phones, it makes it hard to avoid negativity from seeping into your mindset. Negative thinking and a ‘glass half empty’ mindset can make navigating uncertain times even more difficult.
It is difficult to keep your teams motivated during normal conditions, but when stress levels increase and negativity takes hold, it can be even more financially devastating. Jon Gordon reports. “a Gallup study estimates that negativity costs the economy $250-300 billion a year and affects the morale, performance, and productivity of teams. (businessknowhow.com, 2020).
As a business leader or business owner you have access to even more information that can further sour your attitude and turn your focus towards negative outcomes. As you wrestle with the on slot of information and news, it is important to keep yourself in a positive space. If positive thinking doesn’t come naturally for you, there are steps you can take to put you and your team in better mind space so you can navigate through difficult times.
Positive leaders not only have higher success, they tend to have work forces which remain solution based and keep finding ways to move forward in the face of any crisis. Acclaimed business thought-leader Brian Tracey has several keys to staying positive;
- Remember that it’s your response that determines the outcome of a situation.
- Use positive affirmations or phrases to chase off negative thoughts.
- Find inspirational quotes and messages to bolster your positivity.
- Decide to be happy by being grateful and assuming the people around you have the best of intentions.
- Challenge yourself to maintain a positive attitude when something goes wrong—show the world how resilient and positive you are!
Staying positive doesn’t mean living in a fantasy or giving you license to avoid reality. Don’t become a Pollyanna, become a conduit of confidence. Through acceptance and resiliency, you can move yourself and your teams to constructive mindset.
Mental health professions say positive attitudes not only improve your lifestyle it can actually reduce the impact of illness or diseases. Larry Alton from Success.com in 2018, listed 7 practical tips to help you get more positive:
- Start the day with positive affirmations
- Focus on the good things, however small they are.
- Find humor in bad situations.
- Turn failures into lessons—and learn from them!
- Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk.
- Focus on the present instead of getting mired in the past or losing your way in the future.
- Find positive friends, mentors, and co-workers to support and encourage you.
Positive leaders are pragmatic and find constructive options. They celebrate small victories and find productive ways to move forward. Positive leaders are proactive, good listeners, and well-informed. These leaders demonstrate to the collective that even in the face of insurmountable circumstances, negative outcomes are not inevitable.
These ‘transformation’ leaders literally change the culture within organizations and alter the trajectory of their business. They say the laughter is contagious and so too is an optimistic culture. It can raise morale and productivity. These self-aware leaders, model desired behavior. The cliché of “walking the walk and talking the talk” demonstrates to teams and staff members that there is light at the end of the tunnel. How do they do it? They live in what ActionCOACH describes as “operating above the point of power.”
The Point of Power is the space where you focus on ownership, accountable and responsible behavior. When you blame others, make excuses and deny a situation actually exists it brings your power down and while you live below this point you are powerless. Powerless leaders stop progress and eliminate innovative thinking. They stifle creativity and deter solutions from being shared or even developed. You can’t afford to live below the point for every long. Your business can’t either.
The most powerful leaders, those focused on action and positive outcomes, see failure as a lesson to learn from and not a setback. They view obstacles as the catalyst for change and invention. Leaders with positive outlooks inspire and motive others to find think differently and find new perspectives. You can take tangible steps to further influence their teams.
- Connect on a 1:1 basis with team members.
- Encourage and reward the right behaviors.
- Focus on results; demand excellence but without retribution.
- Chart a clear vision and reinforce goals and objectives regularly to everyone knows what direction you are going and success looks like.
Ultimately, it is difficult to change anyone’s behavior or actually alter their thinking, but practice can help you change course. The master any skill, practice is crucial to develop habits and keeping a positive mindset will take daily work. Develop positive habits and try unplugging from negative new sources if you find yourself going down the rabbit hole. Make physical changes that will help you stay on course. Discourage negative chatter and unproductive thinking by demonstrating a more productive alternative. Change notifications on your phone, disconnect some from social media, create visual reminders in your work space and get a buddy or mentor to keep you accountable and help you keep old habits from creeping back in to your mindset.
After any crisis new and innovative solutions emerge from those who persist and refuse to be consumed with negativity. Those with positive outlooks find ways to not only survive, but to thrive.
To learn more about ActionCOACH visit actioncoach.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.