Does “POSITIVITY” really work?
If you ask the question, I guess you’d get a lot of people just saying yeah of course being positive works, it’s fairly easy to see the impact of how being positive can have within a sporting context, when either an individual or a team are competing on the world stage.
I’m sure a lot of people have seen a number of sport related movies with the rousing half time speech from the coach, asking the team to go the extra yard and then the team goes on to win.
But does it have much impact in the workplace?
Can you just switch it on?
It all starts with Awareness, there are some fundamental foundations that will help before we get started or will help if we can calibrate where we are starting from.
Just by using the scale of 1 to 10 will help you check in with yourself to see where you’re at right now, 1 being not particularly great or ready to jump out of bed, and 10 being really excited and can’t wait to start your day.
I’m sure you can remember one of those days when you’d really prefer to have a duvet day, you might calibrate yourself at a 3 or 4 but you have to drag yourself out of bed because you have an important meeting with a client. To compound things, you’re late getting into work and your boss wants you to walk them through your presentation before you head out to see the client.
Your boss gives you some “feedback” that doesn’t really fill you with confidence and you then have to somehow pick yourself up and be in a positive mindset for your meeting! At best, you may well still be calibrating at a 3 or 4 but most of us mere mortals might even spiral further out of control and end up further down that scale and be begging our confidence to show up!
The good news is that I’m sure you can remember those days where you are calibrating higher up the scale, maybe a 7 or 8 and when you wake up, you bounce out of bed and are excited about your day ahead and the meeting you have with your client.
You get to work early so you can tidy up any e-mails that you need to respond to from other clients.
And in advance of this important meeting, you’ve asked your boss for some time so you can practice your presentation and get their feedback so you can make any final tweaks to your pitch.
Your boss gives you some great “feedback” which you take in your stride and adjust the slides before you head on out of the office for your meeting, probably at worst still calibrating at a 7 or an 8 or maybe even up a couple of notches because you’ve had time to rehearse your pitch and you’re feeling really confident.
Two very different scenarios with unless you’re very lucky, two very different outcomes from your client meeting!
Barbara Fredrickson’s book on Positivity dives into her own research but also pulls together other studies to look the difference being positive has on performance, well being, resilience, longevity of life amongst other important indicators. It supports what we all probably knew already and it adds to the argument that you can switch positivity on when you need to raise your performance.
To stay in a healthy positive mindset, you need to have a ratio of 3 – 1, so for every negative thought you need 3 positive thoughts to counter any negativity. Simple things like getting pumped up before doing your presentation by saying positive things to yourself about being fully prepared and excited, does have an impact and will push you up that scale of 1 – 10.
Being resilient is becoming a big attribute that companies are looking to build within their organisations and it’s no wonder why, being able to bounce back quickly from any set backs is becoming a competitive edge in the corporate marketplace. Positivity plays a big role here!
Recommended reading linked to this article
Positivity by Barbara Fredrickson
Flourish by Martin Seligman
The biology of belief by Bruce Lipton