by Elaine Cercado
Imagine our heart as a bank account for emotions. If we deposit a lot of positive emotions then we can withdraw the same amount of positive emotions. The more we deposit, the more we can withdraw, and invest to grow them more. If we only deposit negative emotions then we cannot withdraw any positive emotions when a situation demands for it.
Our heart can only give what we feed into it. We need it to be filled with joy and love to give genuine affirmations freely. We need it to be grateful to feel positive despite problems or stress at work. We need to refill our heart with positive emotions consciously to give continuously. As a leader, the heart cannot ever be in a zero balance.
Leaders need a constant positive flow inward and outward. Why? Being positive is contagious. So is being negative. It’s critical to culture-building. From our team members’ perspective – whatever they get, they give and whatever they give, they get.
HOW CAN LEADERS CULTIVATE POSITIVITY AT WORK?
Practice Daily Gratefulness. Being grateful is source of appreciation and affirmation for the person we are grateful for. Appreciation is one of the highest emotional states one can experience. When appreciation is taken a step further and given to affirm someone’s specific strengths, it becomes a powerful source of encouragement, motivation and reinforcement. (Check out one of my favorite short movies “Validation” that tells the story of the power of appreciation).
With gratitude, both the giver and receiver can experience true joy & contentment – no matter what we have or we don’t have in life. Jack Canfield’s law of attraction states “Like attracts Like”, which means when we are grateful for what we already have, we will naturally attract more for which we can be grateful.
Develop Empathy. A research by DDI said that the number one leadership skill for over-all success is empathy. DDI defines empathy as “acknowledging others’ feelings and circumstances when they express emotion verbally or nonverbally. Empathy involves letting others know that their feelings are understood and helps them to feel that their perspective is being taken into account.”
Their research also said that leaders who master listening and responding with empathy will perform more than 40 percent higher in overall performance, coaching, engaging others, planning and organizing, and decision making, according to the research.
WHAT IS ONE ACTION PLAN WE CAN START NOW?
Appreciate three persons every day, and begin a culture of positivity at work!
Genuine appreciation is free and easy! Zig Ziglar said it well ~“Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile and a grateful heart!”