According to a recent study, cited by Harvard Business Review, positive teams are more productive.
A productive team is obviously something to shoot for as the leader. More gets done. Hopefully more gets done in a shorter amount of time. Things are more efficient. Goals are hit and the team is happy.
As the leader, it’s your responsibility to do what you can to influence positivity in the office.
Not sure how to do that?
Here are some tips for fostering the kind of positivity that will improve your working situation.
1. Deal With Ongoing Stressors
One of the biggest issues with negativity, at work and in our personal lives, seems to be ongoing stressors. The ones that we never seem to get around to fixing.
For example, we come to work everyday and something bothers us. It could be a coffee maker that acts up every morning. It could be a stressful left turn into the parking lot that always brings a rush of adrenaline every time you try to turn as cars come whizzing over a hill.
Or it could be an issue with a coworker.
Here’s the thing…if you don’t deal with these stressors they’re going to keep happening. They won’t just go away on their own. It seems obvious, but we get into these routines and struggle to break out of them.
Identify what’s stressing you out. Deal with it.
2. Quit Social Media
Social media has been one of the largest changes on society over the last 10 or so years.
There are positives associated with social media. From a personal perspective it’s a way to stay connected with friends, family and other folks.
From a business perspective it’s a great way to reach people, connect and possibly form business relationships.
But mounting evidence is showing that social media could be having a net negative impact on our lives.
I’m certainly not saying that my own instance is the instance to follow. Nor is it sufficient evidence, but for the last good bit of time I’ve removed all social media from my phone. I haven’t had a single friend on Facebook for a handful of years.
And the results have been positive.
As humans, we have to be careful of our own tendencies. One tendency is to want engagement. But can there be too much?
It’s up to you, but scrapping social media seems to have the effect of putting us in a more positive state of mind.
3. Stop Watching The News
Just like social media, the news is making us crazy.
There is very little value in watching the news every day.
Do you remember what was on the news five years ago today?
How about what was on the news last year at this time?
How about last month?
It doesn’t matter. What matters are the things that have been around for a long time. One year. Five years. 10+ years. Those are what matters.
The news is like social media. It’s meant to evoke engagement in our brains and our brains are wired to pay attention. We have to fight the urge.
When you stop watching, reading and listening to the news you start realizing how little impact it has had on your life. And you have all this extra time and energy to spend on things that matter.
Relationships, passions, hobbies, work, etc.
4. Pay Less Attention Industry Trends
Building on the last two is one that might be one of the more difficult items to change.
Business leaders often want to stay in tune with the latest trends. Industry trends, business trends, all kinds of trends.
But like news and social media, trends can make you a little off edge. They can take up a lot of your attention and your attention is one of your most valuable assets as a business leader.
After reading numerous biographies, stories and interviews of business leaders that have been successful for the long-term, it seems a common thread that they focused on the long-term. Sure, many would look at trends, but they were often not the first to jump on something.
They read books. Books take longer to write. Authors need to write about topics that will remain relevant otherwise nobody will buy the book by the time it’s printed.
Focus on long-term trends and issues. Leave the rest of it all for those stuck in the present (and the past).
5. Take More Walks
We get caught being inside a lot of the time these days. Walking is one of the best things you can do for your overall well being. Walk during your phone meetings. Walk during one on one meetings with team members. Walk on your lunch break. Park 15 minutes from the office and fit in 30 minutes of walking each day.
Walking gets you in nature. Walking gives you time to think deeper about life and your role in it.
6. Schedule “Thinking” Time
Your schedule is probably full. Full of busy work.
Meetings. Calls. Etc.
Start prioritizing time for thinking. Time to think about your business and its future.
A big reason for negativity amongst leaders is the pressure to lead the company. It can sometimes feel like there is no time to think. You’re too busy being busy.
Take care of the issue by lessening the busy work on your schedule.
7. Find A Listening Partner
Someone that will only listen and not offer advice.
We all need someone that we can confide in. Perhaps a spouse. A sibling. A coworker.
Identify someone that will listen to your feelings, ask questions and let you work through issues without offering advice.
Nobody likes advice. We like people that listen.
Unfortunately, it’s more difficult to find these people.
It’s your job to bring positivity to the office. You can enforce it. You can control it for your team. What you can do is lead by example. Where you go, the team will go. Set the right tone by taking care of yourself. The tips above will help you get moving in the right direction.