Do you feel that company leaders and managers at work appreciate you? Do you regularly have the chance to do your best work? Do you have clarity on what is expected of you at work? Does your manager care about you and provide focus? Fully engaged people at work can answer these questions with a resounding yes!Most of us start a job motivated to perform our best, but sometimes working for a poor manager can adversely affect your motivation. Positive leaders help people tap into their innovative spirit to improve performance.
Optimistic leaders inspire people to a better future. They have a strong sense of significance. Do you model servant leadership?
The Brain Power of Negativity
In Switch (2010), authors Dan and Chip Heath write about “finding the bright spots” in our work and lives. After extensive research, the two business school professors have documented myriad cases that prove how hard it is to overcome negativity’s pull.
In one study, for example, scientists analyzed 558 words in the English language that denote emotions, and they found that 62% were negative (versus the 38% positive).
Across the board, no matter the situation or domain, we are wired to focus on bad over good.
• Example A: People who were shown photos of good and bad events spent more time viewing the latter.
• Example B: When people hear something bad about someone else, they pay more attention to it, reflect on it more, remember it longer and weigh it more when assessing that person. This tendency is called “positive-negative asymmetry.”
• Example C: A researcher reviewed 17 studies of how people interpret and explain events in their lives, such as how fans interpret sporting events or how students describe their days in a journal. Across multiple domains — work, politics, sports, relationships — people were more likely to spontaneously bring up negative versus positive events.
“Bad is stronger than good,” the Heaths conclude. It’s no wonder performance reviews and feedback are usually aimed at what’s not working. Yet, individuals can override this brain tendency and focus on the positive, at least enough to create successful relationships both at work and home.
John Gottman, a psychologist who studies extensive marital conversations, finds that couples who sustain long-term marriages use language that reflects five times more positive statements than negative ones. In fact, he calls this “the magic ratio” and claims it will accurately predict if a marriage will last.
He urges managers to use a ratio of 5:1 positive statements in conversations with employees. Ask yourself: “What percentage of time do I spend solving problems in relation to the time I spend scaling successes?”
Given the advantages of a solution mindset, it’s surprising that more managers fail to gain a foothold in this managerial style. Remember: You can’t give praise and recognition if you see only the negative and focus on what’s broken.
Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches are hired to provide emotional intelligence skills and positive leadership development for organizational leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders improve their ability to focus on what’s right? Leaders at all levels need to improve their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills.
One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I regularly focus on the positive?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for positive leaders who help their employees to be fully engaged and happy at work.
What actions can you take today to be a more positive leader? What activities unleash your people’s strengths? Companies need more great managers and leaders.
Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-i CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you leverage people's strengths and ensure sustainable business success. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.
About Dr. Maynard Brusman
Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.
For more information, please go to https://www.workingresources.com, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 415-546-1252.
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