It is imperative for every leader to be a positive influencer. If you are irritable, irked, or downright fed up with the world around you, you radiate it out to the world. You radiate it out to the people who look up to you, people who work with you, and every life you touch even outside the workplace.
Studies on positive thinking share a common theme: optimism can have profound effects on a person’s physical and mental health and the people around them. The mere act of expecting positive outcomes and being hopeful can boost a person’s immune system, protect against harmful behaviors, and help people unwire day to day anxiety. Optimism can even lead to a longer life.
The psychology of team dynamics fascinates me. You might not categorize yourself as someone who can influence the team, but every cog in your machine is making an impact. Each and everyone one of us influences each other even when are not aware that it is happening.
Positive thinking can be contagious and transform the environment around us, but the real challenge is in the execution. I have often been asked, “How can I remain positive when others around me are so negative? How can I influence others to engage in positive thinking?”
From the literature I have read and personal experience with my teams, here are some strategies that should be helpful for growing positive energy with your team and boosting productivity.
1. Self-Awareness is Key:
It all starts with being self-aware. Even if you read every piece of self-help literature out there, it’s all in vain if you don’t admit that there is room for improvement. Look around you. Do you see gossiping about colleagues, complaining about compensation packages, or predictions of failure? All of this contributes to an unhealthy environment.
2. Get Rid of the Negativity Around You:
We all want to live a positive life, but there are always negative influences around us and you can begin to internalize toxic thoughts from others. Those “friends” or colleagues who claim to be looking out for you may be just trying to figure out a way to look down at you. You need to get rid of them before their opinion starts affecting your life. Complaining is the favorite past time of some people and you need to avoid them.
3. Choose the Right Company for You:
I love working with and being in the company of positive people. Their influence is contagious, and I always feel better after interacting with them. You know you can’t always control what’s going on around you, but you can control your own reaction in any situation. Being happy is a choice you can make and it becomes easier when you surround yourself with other positive thinkers.
4. Find your Positivity Triggers and Commit to them:
You can never have enough positive influence in your life! For some of us, Self-talk and right company just isn’t enough. We have an arsenal of triggers we utilize from time to time to help bring us back to our positive self. You may love music or books, so when you listen to a favorite song or read a good book, it can change your attitude. Happiness is a mindset; commit to it. Be a lifelong learner and ensure a part of that learning is focused on creating a positive environment for yourself and others.
5. Make Lifestyle Changes:
Give yourself permission to take pride in you. It’s easy to get into bad habits that end up ruling you but learn to observe and manage your addictions Start with eating healthy, change your relationship with soda, go on a technology detox, drink a lot of water, exercise, and stop smoking! Express yourself, whether it’s through art, music, writing, or dance. Find something you enjoy and cultivate it. Nurture that fire in your soul.
6. Believe in God and be Spiritual:
Pray, meditate, have a conversation, seek Him. We live in a fallen world, but God has created each of us for His purpose. The closer you draw to Him, the clearer His purpose for your life becomes. There is nothing more positive that I have experienced in my life then when I finally realized and accepted the fact that God had a purpose for me.
Always be approachable and reliable. There is no greater reward that I have ever experienced than helping someone in need. As you incorporate the 6 strategies above into your own life, you will want to share your new found positive thinking with others. Serve them well and always remember: It’s a work in progress.