12 Keys to Keeping a Positive Attitude Thriving
Almost everyone enjoys working with people with a positive attitude. We’re pretty sure we can’t say that absolutely everyone enjoys it, because there’s always that one man or woman in every company that just have to be negative. We like to call them Mr. or Ms. Cranky Pants, but that’s just us.
The thing is … attitude is a choice. The difference between thriving at your job and merely just surviving day-to-day boils down to attitude. A positive attitude is so powerful that it can make a bad job tolerable or a good one great. It can make you happier, healthier and more productive. And, most importantly, it can make you successful.
If you’re a manager, a positive attitude is a MUST because your staff feeds off you. If you walk around with a scowl and look ticked off … complain loudly about “so-and-so in Marketing who thinks they own the place” … or, are generally pessimistic about your company and your role in it, then your employees are going to follow suit and negativity will grow like a cancer.
However, walk around with a smile … keep your opinions about “so-and-so” to yourself and take care of your issues with each other in a professional manner … and being hopeful about the future and how your people can take ownership about the direction the company goes, you’ll get blown away by the positive vibes coming from your staff.
If you find yourself stressed out, dwelling on shortcomings, anticipating the worst, or justifying a negative attitude by saying you’re just “keeping it 100,” it’s not too late to turn things around. No matter how deep your positive attitude is buried, it just takes a little work to bring it back to the surface.
Here are 12 ways managers and supervisors can build and maintain a positive attitude no matter what is going on at work:
- Climate: More smiles, approving nods, and eye contact from you and eventually you’ll get them from others
- Input: Give your high-performance people more challenging, interesting, and visible projects or allow them to cross-train with other departments when possible
- Output: Give daily or weekly attention to those who are doing exceptional work and reward them with your recognition. Even a hand-written note of thanks left on their desk at night is a powerful motivator to do more
- Feedback: Give more positive feedback, reinforcement, and praise out in the open so everyone can see. Give criticism or constructive feedback behind the scenes
- Assume universal growth: Everyone can upgrade their performance. It may take extra effort and time for some, but it is possible
- Demonstrate confidence: Show your staff that you think they are capable of more by delegating responsibility, giving them challenging assignments, more freedom, one-on-one coaching, and more involvement in planning and decisions.
- Engage in ongoing dialog: Don’t just tell people that your door is always open … prove it! You should spend time every day listening to your people … giving them full information about what is going on in the company … and provide feedback on performance
- Set high standards: Setting high standards shows that you trust your staff to do well. This encourages them to rise to the occasion
- Offer praise freely: Offer praise liberally, even if the job isn’t totally perfect. People need praise to bolster their self-confidence and self-esteem
- Criticize the work, not the person: Zero in on the performance, not the person. But, make it a dialogue and not a lecture like a parent gives a teenager
- Encourage self- and career-development: It’s ironic, but helping your people outgrow their current jobs makes you look even better. When they leave because they’re burned out, you look bad. When they leave because of promotions or better opportunities elsewhere, you look like a rock star
- Watch personal biases: Favoritism, or even the appearance of favoritism, is deadly to keeping a positive attitude in your department. However, keeping an honest and open dialogue between you and your staff can nip it in the bud before it becomes a problem
High employee morale is absolutely key to your success as a manager, and your company’s long-term success. When employee morale is high, so is productivity, quality of work, and even customer loyalty. When employee morale is low, the only things that are high are employee turnover, absenteeism, and safety violations. You can’t afford to maintain that environment.