Culture

Don't Worry, Be Positive

By

Jason Bodin

| Jul 2, 2014

A simple smile, an act of gratitude and supporting others all go a long way in the workplace. In fact, these attributes help to build an atmosphere of positivity.

The human mind is the most powerful tool in the world; within this device lives an arena of positive and negative thoughts battling for control of your psyche. Each mindset is contagious, so which would you rather have ruling your office? My bet is on positivity, because with it, your team has more potential to accomplish its goals, develop resiliency and improve psychological prosperity.

The emotions your employees feel on a daily basis prepare their physical and mental actions for the day, week, month and, ultimately, their lives. Those harvesting emotions of fear, stress and anxiety are likely to let negativity fill their brains. This pessimistic outlook then pours like molten lava into one’s professional and personal lives, and nobody wants this added distraction in the workplace.

Barbara Fredrickson’s Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions suggests those feelings are vital for human survival. Of course, nobody can be positive all the time, but Fredrickson says even momentary positive emotional states have long-lasting benefits that solidify bonds, form traits and enable enduring abilities that last well into the future.

On any given day, we know that a new task or assignment is sure to come down the pipeline; how you handle these new initiatives can lead to greater responsibilities and possibly even into external rewards, like a promotion. Positivity is the catalyst that leads those who are successful. The High Expectancy Success Theory states that a positive attitude makes solving problems easier. While that isn’t rocket science, it is easy to see how those with positive mindsets are better able to accomplish their objectives on the job, as well as in life in general.

Are you taking an active role in creating a positive atmosphere within your workplace? Here are a few ideas to encourage positivity:

1. Smile. A warm smile adds value and can change one’s outlook on the day. Think about the last time you walked down the hall and someone smiled at you; it probably gave you a boost. Remember that emotions are contagious, and smiles are the easiest way to share good vibes. Still, sometimes it is hard to crack a smile. Perhaps you’ve had a rough day or didn’t get that well-deserved promotion. It takes discipline to bounce back after something goes askew, but a smile will release endorphins that change your emotional outlook, not to mention others’.

2. Encourage others. When I think of encouragement, I automatically go to a scene from the 2009 movie Couples Retreat. (If you need a good laugh, check it out.) Encouragement is easy in the workplace, so use positive reinforcement to continue a certain behavior. Take the time to encourage employees by handing out candy or simply offering uplifting words. Such small gestures can improve morale and increase productivity.

3. Turn negatives into positives. Not all bad situations are negatives, as long as you use them as learning opportunities. Life is tough and you will have obstacles to overcome, so use this process to sharpen your skills and become a better employee and person overall.

4. Be resilient. It is human nature to dwell on the negatives, but what if you choose to set your sights on all of the positives? Sure, the meeting might not have gone as you would have liked, but there is always the next one. Feelings of disappointment and stress are bound to happen, but how you deal with those emotions defines who you are in the eyes of others. When you are faced with tough times, focus your energy and thoughts on all of your successes.

5. Acknowledge success. It is easy to get caught up in the big picture and lose sight of all the smaller accomplishments that lead to achieving the ultimate goal, so be sure to recognize all the small wins. Acknowledge your peers and superiors for everything they do to help your organization achieve its goals. High-fives and genuine praise go a long way to drive positivity.

About the Author

Jason Bodin

Jason Bodin has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom, where he serves as director of public relations and corporate communications. He helped launch Paycom’s blog, webinar platform and social media channels. He aided in the development of Paycom’s tool to assist organizations in complying with the Affordable Care Act, one of the largest changes in health care the country has seen. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Bodin previously worked for ESPN and FoxSports. In his free time, he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and strengthen his business acumen.

See more posts by Jason Bodin