Smiles can sometimes be fake but, in general, have you noticed how those with optimistic, positive outlooks people are also less stressed and more productive?
Researchers have found that positive people are also more effective at work. When Bradley Owens and colleagues at the University of Michigan surveyed employees in 2016, they discovered a virtuous circle: the more people you energise, the more people want to be around you. You attract talent and people are more likely to devote time to your projects. They’ll offer new ideas, information and opportunities to you first.
Maybe you’ve been on the receiving end. If you’ve ever worked for an energising boss, chances are you felt more engaged at work. They energise us because they create genuine connection with us by, for example, devoting their full attention and listening carefully to us.
Bringing positive energy into relationships helps to build trust and connections. So how can you generate and project a positive energy that will benefit you as well as those around you?
Focus on Yourself
Intentionally focus on the positive things happening in your life. When we begin to be grateful and appreciate everything in our lives, we shift our attitude from one of selfishness, to one of appreciation – something that gets noticed by others.
Opt out of gossip or conversations where the only focus is to denigrate, diminish or criticise. It all has an impact: saying something negative not only disrespects the person you're speaking about, but it also brings down your mood, even if you don't consciously realise it. Make a conscious effort to focus instead on gratitude, genuine integrity and positive thoughts.
Take time each day to build up your physical and mental health — from maintaining physical fitness to mindfulness work-outs — to help centre you and prepare you better for work challenges.
Treat Others Well
Lock in that “glass half-full” mindset – be attentive to your surroundings and other people’s feelings and needs, and offer a helping hand where appropriate.
Seek out what's positive in others. Before approaching someone at work, try to focus on something that makes them great — it will help you project a friendly, positive vibe…. and there’s a good chance it might spark something positive within them. Genuine compliments work because they are a sign of appreciation and admiration – and who doesn’t want to be appreciated and acknowledged?
Set Clear, Powerful Intentions
To be positive in the workplace, we all need a sense of purpose and clarity on why we’re spending so much time and energy doing what we do. Set aside some time to focus on the greater purpose, goals and intentions of your organisation, and how your goals and intentions fit within them. Intentions become much more powerful when you write them down and share them verbally. There's something powerful and charismatic about a person who works towards their goals — it creates an inherent confidence and joy that is palpable to others, because it shows how much you respect and believe in yourself.
For more ways to change your mindset, check out Helen Tupper from Amazing If’s article on changing your mindset from linear...to squiggly.
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