About 18 years ago, I was at a networking event (with my four-month-old daughter strapped into a snuggly), and I was lamenting to some colleagues that the lion’s share of my consulting business came from one client – a great client with whom I thoroughly enjoyed working, but one client nonetheless. I feared that I was not creating the stability I needed to build a successful business. If that one client pulled out, I’d be sunk, I griped.
This reaction from a colleague made a huge impact on my business acumen. “Let me get this straight,” said Corrin. “You have a client you love, you have three children who are healthy, and you’re worried? You should be grateful.”
I left that event thinking: They are right. My cup is way beyond half full. I need to focus on what I have, instead of what I don’t have.
Positivity is a powerful business tool. And while the field of positive psychology offers up a bevy of evidence for the connection behind optimism and positive outcomes, my belief in the concept came from a personal experience.
I was reminded of that networking event a few months ago when a coaching client told me, “I am just going to pour positive energy into what’s in front of me! Not because it’s something I should do, but because when I pour positivity into anything, it seems to get better.”
All of us can learn from this. In organizations, we tend to focus on what is going wrong instead of what is going right. And when we fail to pay attention to what’s going right, it can evaporate pretty quickly.
Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to reframe your mindset. Let’s say that your team landed three new clients, but missed their revenue goal. The negative message is that the team failed. The positive message is that any of those three clients have the potential to become million-dollar clients.
Or maybe your logo redesign required lots of back and forth with the design team. Negative message: This costs more than we planned. Positive message: We ended up with a logo that everyone is happy with and that will endure.
So how can you inject your workplace with positivity? Ask yourself these questions:
- What have I done well this week?
- Whose work in the last month should I affirm with praise or a note of recognition?
- How will I reward team members who have contributed to the success of our organization this quarter?
The bottom line is that what we think about and emphasize is what grows. So plant the seeds of positivity at your workplace and see what sprouts!