Positivity in Practice

Why is it that we naturally hyper-focus on negative things? Ask anyone what they are thinking and most of the time, you will hear about what has been negatively impacting them or the “thing” they are stuck on because it went or will go horribly wrong. Without fail, most humans overthink the negative instead of embracing the positive. No wonder there are so many self-help resources on mindfulness and appreciation. Many of us don’t know how to relax and celebrate “all that is right in the world”.

As an HR professional, many of my solutions involve people and how they communicate, especially within the organizational setting.  A positive work environment supports employee engagement and plays a big part in business success.  Fostering a productive workplace culture requires consistent practice because it doesn’t just happen.  Nurturing positivity with intention sets the overall tone on the right course.  A technique called “Resource Gossiping” by Sarah McVanel-Viney and Brenda Zalter-Minden demonstrates how this can be done effectively in the workplace.

Since employees have conversations and tell stories about individuals and events as part of their usual daily routine, adjusting how they do this is the key to affecting the dynamics.  The duo suggests coaching individuals to put gossip-like stories in a positive light — thereby focusing the collective lenses on constructive feedback.  This type of commentary sets people towards strengths and resources. The outcome is positive and practical because it pays good things forward.  Most people are natural story tellers so this is a great way to coach employees to develop community and skills for the “greater good”.  With a little practice, the positive perspective keeps going.

Resource Gossiping is part of the Forever Recognizing Others Greatness (or “FROG“) toolbox and the Greatness Magnified philosophy.  Please see the Dimensions of Greatness for more details.

Be sure to look for Sarah McVanel-Viney and Brenda Zalter-Minden’s new book titled “Forever Recognize Others’ Greatness: Solution-Focused Strategies for Satisfied Staff, High Performing Teams and Healthy Bottom Lines” available January 2016.

Simplify to personal success

Everyday I read about the dilemma we face as humans trying to balance our lives.  In fact, our personal and work lives have become very complicated in the last century, we don’t know how to slow down.  In the age of the knowledge worker, individuals possess a lot of individual power because of our access to knowledge.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t help us to be overwhelmed by the amount of information.  Too much of anything is paralyzing.

There are countless articles on work-life balance but I don’t believe there is such thing — something’s got to give.  The symmetry suggested with the balancing reference is impossible.  It is a constant juggling act to figure out what priorities we keep and which ones fall off our radar.

The key to living a “good” life, albeit a meaningful one, is to be self-aware.  This enables us to keep our priorities in check, make easier adjustments when things change and find the contentment we crave.  I think we can start by redefining success.