Attitudes are contagious – is yours worth catching?
A couple of years ago, a former colleague in a high-level leadership role challenged my positivity mindset, sharing that I was “always too positive” and “not everyone has to be positive in the workplace” – apparently my expectations of positivity for myself and others were also too high to comprehend. It was a constant finger-pointing topic especially when this leader was in a negative mood. I needed to “check” myself at times after our draining conversations about positivity.
Yes, the workplace can be frustrating. I get it, everyone has “off” days and that is perfectly fine. However, positivity is a leadership DISCIPLINE, and MINDSET CHOICE made daily when that alarm goes off at 6am. For me, it takes daily dedication AND focus to be a positive leader. Choosing negativity toward co-workers and customers is simply the effortless way out. A positive mindset takes daily commitment and strength. To be completely honest, choosing positivity can be harder than choosing negativity at times.
It all starts with you.
A positive attitude in the workplace is contagious because people have a natural tendency to mimic the emotions and behaviors of those around them. When someone exhibits positive attitudes, such as enthusiasm, optimism, and energy, it can have a ripple effect on those around them, creating a positive work environment and improving team morale.
Here are a few reasons why positivity matters.
Positive attitudes boost productivity: When people are in a positive state of mind, they tend to be more motivated and productive. When this positivity is shared among team members, it can lead to a more focused and productive work environment.
Positive attitudes improve teamwork: When people have a positive outlook, they tend to be more approachable, supportive, and collaborative. You know how much I enjoy a great collaboration! This can also help build stronger relationships among team members and improve overall teamwork.
Positive attitudes reduce stress: A positive attitude can help to reduce stress and anxiety in the workplace, making it easier for people to stay focused and engaged in their work. This creates a more relaxed and enjoyable work environment, which in turn leads to improved job satisfaction and employee retention.
Positive attitudes improve customer service: When employees have a positive attitude, it helps them to better connect with customers and provide a more positive and compelling guest journey. This leads to increased customer loyalty, improved service, and higher revenue.
How can you shine brighter as a leader and make a positive impact on others? Here are some mindset best practices:
Gratitude: Practice gratitude by reflecting on the positive aspects of life and focusing on being thankful for what you already have. This practice can help with staying positive and maintaining a sense of perspective. We need to talk more about gratitude in the workplace, we are not machines, we are human beings.
Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness through techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga. This helps you stay present in the moment, reduce stress, and increase focus. When was the last time you hosted an outdoor nature walking meeting? Try it and trust me, it’s a game-changer.
Self-care: Understand the importance of taking care of yourself physically and mentally. Prioritize getting enough sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition to maintain energy levels and overall well-being.
Positive self-talk: Use positive self-talk to combat negative thoughts (aka trash head talk) and maintain a positive mindset. Use affirmations or visualization techniques to reinforce positive beliefs and goals. Practice these techniques early in the day and keep the momentum going. Share these thoughts with others.
Learning from failure: View failure as an opportunity for growth and learning. Don’t dwell on past mistakes but instead use them as a stepping stone toward future success and to mentor others.
Here are a few characteristics of positive mindset leadership:
Optimism – positive mindset is often characterized by optimism. Leaders with a positive mindset tend to focus on the positive aspects of situations, believe in their ability to overcome challenges, and have a hopeful outlook for the future.
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges. Having a positive mindset propels resilience. Leaders view setbacks as opportunities, often viewed as growth and learning rather than insurmountable obstacles.
Self-awareness is the ability to understand one’s own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. A positive mindset leader tends to be self-aware, and they recognize their own strengths and weaknesses and use this knowledge to improve and grow.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Leaders with a positive mindset tend to be empathetic, as they can put themselves in others’ shoes and understand their perspectives. We absolutely need more empathy in the workplace and in the world.
Flexibility is the ability to adapt to change and uncertainty. Leaders with a positive mindset tend to be flexible, as they can approach change with a growth mindset and find new opportunities for learning and development.
Lean in and let’s talk more about positivity in the workplace with your teams. Now more than ever, leaders have a significant responsibility to shine a light on positivity. We have an epic opportunity to make a difference in the mental health of our employees, teams, and businesses.
I promise, if you’re disciplined and committed to a positive work environment the ROI in labor retention, productivity, profitability, and guest satisfaction will thrive within your operation. I have been there and did not let the negative naysayers in the workplace control my positive mindset vibe (even when it was hard). I pushed back and next leveled my positive leadership mindset, filtering through all the noise. Eventually, the negative attitudes worked themselves out of the organization allowing more positive leaders to shine their light on others.
Keep believing, encouraging, and inspiring to be EXCEPTIONAL LEADERS with a positive mindset.