Have you ever come across someone in your work or personal life who manages to see the downside of every situation? Have you also noticed how that same person quickly drains all the energy from every conversation or project he/she touches?
We recently spent a weekly team Huddle discussing how we, as individuals, can incorporate our second Core Value–Be Positive–into our daily work at Far Reach. Many of us admitted this is one of the most difficult of our Core Values to implement consistently. It’s human nature to find the flaws in others and in our environment. Doing so makes us (in the short term) feel better about ourselves and lets us off the hook when we face a difficult situation. Long term, of course, is a different story.
Several team members offered suggestions on how we can all fight the negativity monster:
1.) Being positive is a conscious decision. We all have bad days. We all deal with difficult people or difficult situations. We can’t control everything, but we can control how we react. We all agreed that our attitude is our own choice. Because this can be so difficult to implement, we made a pact as a team to call each other out when one of us goes into Debbie-Downer mode.
2.) It’s important to believe things are possible unless we have proof otherwise. This doesn’t mean we should be unrealistic or operate without priorities. However, if “There’s not enough time,” or “I/we don’t know how to do this,” tend to be the default responses when faced with a challenge, it may be time to assess if there’s an attitude issue. Time, priorities, and ability are all strongly impacted by our own mindset.
3.) Take time to reflect on what’s going well. Celebrate and give compliments. It’s important to regularly focus on what’s going right, on work well-done, and to give positive feedback to our fellow team members. Everyone needs a little boost now and then. It’s energizing and it encourages more of the same moving forward.
4.) Keep things in perspective. Often, if we get too caught up in minor details it’s easier to be negative. One frustrating interaction doesn’t have to grow into a bad day and one day not going as planned doesn’t have to flush an entire week down the drain. We need to keep our eyes on big goals and the progress we make in reaching them, stepping back on a regular basis and putting our day-to-day work in perspective.
5.) Look for opportunities in difficult situations. Instead of moaning and groaning when faced with a challenge, we will start looking for ways to make things better. Rahm Emmanuel (love him or hate him) once said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” The point: crises force us to learn, to help each other, and to push beyond what we might have accomplished otherwise.
Do you need a regular reminder to look on the brighter side of things? How do you keep yourself and your team moving forward with a positive attitude? We hope you’ll share your own ideas and challenges in the comments below.