How To Focus On The Positives

As a leader focusing on the positives can be difficult. This can be from a personal perspective- if you have had a stressful week it is not always easy to hide this. Equally persuading your team to maintain a positive attitude and to keep them motivated can be difficult as well. Knowing how to do this even during a challenging period can make all the difference and here are a few tips to help with this.

Give others boost

The simple fact is people who are happier and feel appreciated a more likely to be productive. If someone hits their target or comes up with a good idea let them know. This will motivate them all the more as they will want to get that praise again.

Avoid changing too much

The temptation for new bosses is to deliberately “kick people into shape”. This is a potentially dangerous mindset- it is better to look at what works and build on it rather than trying to shock people into doing what you want.

Understand people’s strengths

Another potential danger is that people can lose sight of what they are good at and only believe the negative. For example if you work in a call centre a potentially rude or aggressive customer can upset someone who is trying to resolve the problem.

Fortunately there is a way to reverse this- if you take the person aside you should look at what they did right and remind them it is a difficult situation. If they could have handled it better you need to do so in a way that doesn’t make them feel like they are being told off, showing people a better way and encouraging them is better than putting them under pressure.

Four questions

During team feedback there are four questions you can ask in order to help build people’s confidence and maintain positivity-

  • What are your strengths and how did you put them into practise this week?
  • What strengths do other employees have and how did they demonstrate them?
  • What collective strengths could your team focus on more?
  • Is there anything you need to tone down (eg be slightly less aggressive when selling to people?)

With each of these strengths you need to give specific, concrete examples. This will then make it easier to provide constructive feedback, build people’s confidence and help everyone focus collectively.

Don’t neglect one-on-one time

While the group dynamic is important you should not neglect the individuals within that collective either. By discussing issues with each member it can be easier to help them know what their role is and to give them individual targets and things that they could work on that would benefit the group as a whole.

In short positivity is about yourself, the team and every person that makes up that team. By using positive language, creating a better environment and maintaining communication on both an individual and a group level it is possible to get more out of your team in the best possible way.


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