Updated: Jan 25
A role model of a boss or windfall gains are factors outside your control. But the choice to maintain a positive attitude under all circumstances very much is. As leaders, you can develop a positive attitude at work to forge a positive work environment.
Work is integral to living a fulfilling life, especially if you have big dreams you want to accomplish at work. But often, people work out of compulsion and see the office as a torturous place they would rather run away from.
Why do you think some people spend so much of their hard-earned money on lottery tickets every week? They hope to escape what they do for a living. Unfortunate but true.
Windfall gain, a role model of a boss, higher compensation, supportive colleagues, and co-workers are all factors outside your control. What you do have in your control is your own attitude. See your current environment and make it the most positive work environment possible. Instead of looking at your current workplace as a dark cloud eliciting negative and gloomy feelings, a positive mindset will enable you to focus on the silver lining.
How to Use the Power of Positive Thinking at Work
Here are 20 ways you can shift your negative feelings about your work into positive ones:
1. Practice gratitude. Be grateful that your job pays the bills. Be thankful that you are working instead experiencing unemployment and not knowing when the next job opening will appear.
2. Create business boundaries. Set business hours and reserve your free time for yourself, friends, and family.
3. Look for the good in people instead of assuming the worst.
4. Celebrate your small achievements. Small building blocks lead to great things.
5. Schedule “play time” in your calendar. Everything else is booked, so why not your free time?
6. Keep your office space clutter-free. You’ll focus on what’s important instead of being distracted with miscellaneous busy work.
7. Add joy to your office with personal mementoes. Show off your personality or add things that keep you grounded, especially during difficult situations. Your office is a blank canvas – make it an extension of you.
8. Look at your vision board daily to remember your WHY. Stay inspired with these photos of your hopes and dreams. Knowing WHY you’re in this business and what you hope to accomplish will motivate you to achieve great things.
9. Keep your personal problems off social media. You’ll only invite nasty comments and unsolicited advice. Plus, your posts could influence some prospects not to hire you.
10. Build a support network for times when your positivity is lacking. Even with all this talk of positivity, you WILL have bad days. That’s life. But how you respond to those bad days makes a difference. Surround yourself with people who support you and who can listen to an occasional rant. Sometimes voicing your frustration is all you need to let it go and get back to work.
11. Keep negative people and thoughts off your social media feeds. The Law of Attraction states that “like attracts like.” So, if you keep reading negative social posts, chances are high that you’ll attract negativity into your own life. Unfollow or unfriend toxic people from your social feeds and, if necessary, from your life.
12. Find the lesson or silver lining in every situation. If you’re in a minor fender bender, be thankful you didn’t get injured, or the damage to your car wasn’t worse. If you lose a client, consider what new opportunities will take that place.
13. Take the lesson from yesterday and implement it today. Lessons are ever-present, but we need to look for them. Sometimes they slap us in the face, such as with the fender bender example above. Evaluate how you can drive more safely. In the case of a client, look at the feedback they give and make necessary changes so that other clients don’t have the same experience.
14. Smile more. Turning that frown upside down subconsciously makes others smile and also emotes a happier tone in your voice when speaking on the phone.
15. Develop professional relationships with clients and team members. See them for the humans they are, not simply for the tasks they perform or the money they spend with you.
16. Host small get-togethers, parties, or retreats for clients and/or your team. Actions are louder than words when it comes to showing appreciation.
17. Set aside quiet time for meditation, journaling, or prayer. Do some soul searching to discover those hidden dreams or answers to a problem.
18. Practice self-care. As the announcement goes at the beginning of every airline flight, give yourself oxygen before caring for anyone else. The same is true in business. If you’re not healthy and in a good headspace, you can’t care for your clients the way they deserve.
19. Listen to music that brings joy to your heart. What music perks you up and puts a smile on your face? Which genre brings you down memory lane to “the good old days”?
20. Use a to-do list and cross off your completed tasks for a sense of accomplishment. Simple paper and pen or a digital to-do list will bring the same results.
A Leader’s Positive Attitude= Positive Work Environment = Happy Employees and Customers
Not only will more positive energy affect your mood, but it will spill over to your customers and employees. They will notice your positive attitude and willingness to go “above and beyond”.
Don’t make the mistake of seeing them strictly as rupee signs or profits. Instead, consider their WHOLE customer experience – from the moment they first follow you on social media to the time they make a purchase – and work to earn their loyalty. A positive outlook goes far in achieving that loyalty.
Here are 20 things you can do to make your customer and employee experience more positive:
1. Remember your ‘please’ and ‘thank yous.’ Customers and employees will remember the common courtesy and respectful behaviour.
Tip: Want to enhance your Executive Communication Skills? Take the free communication assessment to find out how good your communication skills really are and what are your areas of improvement.
2. Own up to your mistakes. We’re all human, and mistakes happen. Rather than finding a scapegoat or other excuse for what happened, simply admit that something went wrong and work toward a suitable resolution.
3. Respond to criticism with optimism and a willingness to help. Employees get frustrated and often take their emotions out on you, either in person or via social media. Instead of retorting with an angry diatribe, acknowledge the problem and work to resolve it.
4. Never criticise clients or their businesses on social media. No matter the subject or if they indeed started the disagreement, your negative talk about them will only reflect poorly on YOU.
5. Welcome unsolicited client and employee phone calls…during regular business hours. The simple act of answering the phone instead of sending a text will do wonders for your relationship.
6. Offer a way for clients and employees to give their feedback about the service and/or product. You won’t know what your market truly needs unless you ask them.
7. Invest the time and energy to train your team members so they can give the best attention to your customers. If simple questions cause them to fumble, retrain them or look for a new team member.
8. Safeguard your customer data to avoid security breaches, so they don’t have to repeat their purchase history to you. Your customers will be relieved that you care about their information as much as they do.
9. Be honest, especially with your recommendations. Clients are looking to you for help, not to be fleeced. When making affiliate recommendations, keep their business needs foremost in your mind and choose only those products you trust and use yourself. Build that trusting relationship.
10. Practice active listening. Instead of answering emails during a call or being otherwise distracted, actively listen and take notes of what they say and what their concerns are. Repeat these to them to be sure you heard correctly, and then find a way to resolve any issues.
11. Follow up with clients after a problem is solved. It’s never an easy phone call to make but simply check in and be sure it is resolved to their satisfaction.
12. Get personal. Show photos and biographies of your team on your website. Show your customers that there really are people behind the façade who care about their business.
13. Treat your customers as VIPs. Offer special services or another perk to your best customers. Show your appreciation for their loyalty and referrals.
14. Create a clear, customer-focused mission and share it with your team. Knowing and understanding your overall mission will help team members focus on the client’s needs and will help you develop company policies that support the client and reflect your mission.
15. Create an emotional connection with your customers. Chewy.com is known for advising customers to donate their products to animal shelters when their pet passes away.
16. Be flexible whenever possible. You shouldn’t be a pushover with people wanting to take advantage, but being flexible in bending the rules will improve your relationships. Take the story of a Zomato delivery boy who was late to deliver because of heavy traffic. The company waived the penalty even as the customer complained.
17. Engage with customers on social media. Don’t just wait for a negative review; ask them questions, tell a joke, or show off your personality with some humour.
18. Send a gift in the mail. Most people get junk mail or bills in the mail, so think how memorable you’d be if you sent a small gift to your customers. Even if it’s a gift card, send it with a personalised note.
19. Give shout-outs to VIP customers or outstanding employees on social media and/or in your email newsletter. People love to be recognised; just be sure to ask their permission first.
20. Embrace technology and use apps to make your clients’ lives easier. From online appointment scheduling to recurring billing, apps allow you to set up the record once and then not think about it until a change is necessary.
Foster a Culture of Positive Mindset at Work
Although team members can be replaced, why run the risk of high turnover? Instead, instil a positive attitude in your team by developing personal relations with your team members, so they are happy at work. If they’re always wondering if something “better” is on the horizon, you should focus on adding positive energy to the workplace.
Here are 20 suggestions for cultivating a positive work culture:
1. Practice an open-door policy. Your team members and clients will find you more approachable if they have problems or concerns.
2. Perform a random act of kindness. Small notes with inspiring quotes can mean the difference between good and bad days.
3. Give praise when deserved. Who doesn’t love a pat on the back for a job well done?
4. Remember important events, such as birthdays or milestone anniversaries. Let your team know that you see them.
5. Communicate positively with constructive criticism. Mention the positive item first before diving into everything wrong.
6. Stock your office with healthy food and drink alternatives. Another gesture that shows you care.
7. Encourage health and exercise with discounts to a wellness centre near your work premises. This is also an easy way to expand your business network if you are an owner.
8. Create a walking club that meets before work or during lunchtime. It will help the employees who are intimidated or dislike the gym.
9. Defend your team member fairly if a client complains. Knowing you “have their back” goes a long way to building loyalty among team members.
10. Set realistic deadlines for projects. Constant overtime or scheduling work too close together eventually yields resentment.
11. Avoid micromanaging. Trust that you hired the best team members to handle the work. Indeed, ask for progress reports but allow them to complete the task without telling them how to do it.
12. Keep meetings concise. Time is money, and if your team is stuck in a never-ending meeting, they’re not being productive with client work or customer service.
13. Deal with conflicts in private. We’re adults, not children. Shaming people in public isn’t acceptable.
14. Work with efficient lighting, especially during the winter months. Change the bulbs to the “daylight” version for more light. More light can help those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
15. Encourage learning new skills. Workers with diverse skills and the motivation to learn new skills are rare! Encourage this learning and put their new skills to good use.
17. Share self-improvement books or articles with your team. You don’t want to become an annoying figure who always seems to know what’s best, but sharing tips that are helpful to you can be useful to others.
18. Create reasonable goals which can be measured. In addition to having a company mission, create a team goal along with individual member goals using the SMART system (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound).
19. Encourage collaboration. Let your team members know they are not working alone to complete projects. Ask for help instead of wondering if you’re on the right path.
20. Encourage your team to suggest new ideas. If they have a firm grasp on the company’s mission and goals, they will want to make suggestions for the organisation’s betterment.
Positive Thinking at Work: The Last Word
As you can see, positive influences have a trickle-down effect: If you’re happy, your team members will be happy. If your team is happy, your customers will be happy.
Start embracing a positive mindset today and notice all the ripples it creates.
Want to find out how good your positive communication skills are? Take the free communication skills assessment
Smita D Jain is a Certified Personal Empowerment Life Coach, Executive Coach and NLP Practitioner. Smita’s ‘Empower Yourself’ Executive Coaching Programs enable introverted executives to speak with confidence and communicate with influence so that they emerge leaders faster than envisaged.
Prior to her journey as a coach, Smita had extensive experience of 14 years as a corporate and business strategy professional with Fortune 500 companies. She is also a TEDx speaker and speaks at various public forums, a published writer, and an Amazon bestselling author.
You can learn more about Smita’s ‘Empower Yourself’ Coaching Programs by visiting www.lifecoachsmitadjain.com and booking a complimentary strategy session at https://www.lifecoachsmitadjain.com/booking.