AT WORK

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Positively sparkling with positivity…

Hi there lovely readers! As you’ve started to identify, I’ve declared this the year of positivity. Ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking – yet another of those pony tailed Yogi’s winsome ruminations on how to make the world a better place, regurgitated by Jane? Nah! Richard Branson actually.  

Have you noticed that the world’s biggest influencers and most successful people tend to be positive people? They usually see endless possibilities and empower others to feel the same, and, in turn, they actively create the ripple, the wave, the tsunami that moves the world forward.

Richard Branson penned and shared a great little piece (LinkedIn – Jan 2018) on positivity attitudes-are-contagious-yours-worth-catching the focus being on how positivity can breed positivity and how, by simply asking a question in a positive manner, we are more likely to generate a more positive response. 

Branson’s example: “We launched our three airlines Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Virgin America to provide consumers with better alternatives to existing options. But we didn’t do so by asking “Are you sick of the competition?” Instead, we asked, “Are you ready for the future of air travel?” Rather than focusing on everything that our competitors weren’t doing, or were doing poorly, we highlighted our unique offering and asked potential customers what it is they loved and looked forward to about flying.”

As Branson says, positive thinking is an incredibly powerful tool. Simply put: positive, proactive behaviour spurs positive, proactive behaviour. Let me give you an example:

Years ago I worked in a seriously toxic environment where, to have a good day, I had to consciously make it a good day. Ever the optimist I hoped that, by focusing on demonstrating positive, proactive behaviour at all times, I might just ignite similar behaviour. As Winston Churchill once said:

“The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” 

 Damn it was tough, ‘fake it ’till you make it’ was often my mantra yet looking back, I’d found myself channelling a spot of Winston with a focus on:

  • wearing a smile at all times (incensing one fellow employee enough to spit ‘christ your always so fucking happy Jane, you make me sick!’ – she didn’t do mornings well)
  • surrounding myself with the more positive folk (who ended up forming a fabulous network that remains in my life today)
  • approaching challenges and problems in a proactive ‘can do’ manner (to keep the tyrannical leader at a distance)
  • phrasing my comments and questions to reflect positive outcomes a la Branson  
  • adopting a ‘can do’ attitude (anything to keep the team’s in positive spirits flowing)  

As Branson says – start simple; find a positive slant in every question you ask, display a positive outlook and you will find that people will gravitate towards you, and go out of their way to help you succeed.   

And did I survive? Yes. Did people help me succeed? Indeed. Positivity won out, still does. 

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