The Contagious Power of Positivity in the Workplace
The right kind of positivity can work wonders for your clients and your business.
POSITIVITY IS A power. No, make that a “superhuman” power.
While it may not grant us the ability to be “faster than a speeding bullet” or “more powerful than a locomotive,” it undeniably plays a pivotal role in personal and business success.
What makes the “power of positivity” even more desirable than the fictional superpowers of leaping tall buildings or having X-ray vision is its contagious nature. Unlike superheroes, whose abilities don’t directly influence those around them, positivity has a profound impact on everyone it touches — from our family and co-workers to a stranger you bump into in the line at Starbucks.
In the business world, recognizing and appreciating your team’s efforts, celebrating success, and consistently providing opportunities for professional and personal growth will do wonders for your company’s culture.
Now, I am not just talking about blind positivity with no regard for life’s setbacks or failures. I am talking about an overall mantra of positivity when it comes to work and life goals and vision. Positivity is contagious and a leader needs to exude and promote the benefits of carrying that energy around with you wherever you go.
Anyone who has ever run a business or whose job entails managing people on a daily basis knows full well that there will be days when things go sideways. It doesn’t matter how prosperous your company is, there are going to be moments when someone makes a costly mistake.
By osmosis, your colleagues will follow your cues if you demonstrate positivity and support and focus on problem-solving when facing challenges. Being fair and firm when reacting to a semi-crisis instead of flying off the handle will lead to reduced stress, improved mental health and working relationships, boosted morale and overall happier employees.
Read that last sentence again. Think about how much better your company would be if you could nail all of those attributes. If you can help manufacture that kind of atmosphere — even with remote workers — it will organically create more collaboration, innovation and communication within your team and, in turn, increase productivity and profits.
Proof of the power of positivity is found in the research of Dr. Martin Seligman, the “father of positive psychology.” His study at MetLife demonstrated that “optimistic sales professionals” outsold their “pessimistic” counterparts by an astonishing 57%. This finding led MetLife to overhaul its hiring practices, screening for optimism, which proved to be a game-changer. Within two years, the company experienced greater success in hiring and retaining agents, expanded its sales force significantly, and increased its market share of the personal insurance market by 50%.
But the benefits of positivity don’t stop in the workplace. It also carries over to your clients or prospective clients.
One of the most important aspects of client retention is to build lasting relationships with your clients. The more positive interactions you have with your clients, the stronger the relationship will be. And, of course, the more positive encounters potential and current business partners have with your team members, the better chance they have to be loyal to your brand and become long-time clients.
The good news is that positivity is a power that’s accessible to all — even those of you reading this who tend to be more reserved. It doesn’t cost a penny and, according to Dr. Seligman, it can be learned and developed through specific cognitive techniques. His book, appropriately titled, “Learned Optimism,” emphasizes that optimism is not merely an inherent trait but can be “cultivated by identifying and challenging negative thought patterns.”
The takeaway? Positivity is there for the taking. And the more you employ it in your daily life, the better off you will be at the workplace, at home and in your community.