How To Be A Positive Leader

Learning about positive organization has to begin by covering the “How to be a positive leader” topic. It gives a clear picture of which steps a company should focus to ensure growth and high performance. By reading these pages, you will find out the newest information and research on the topic mentioned above. On top of that, you will discover how to transfer that information to your business practice and benefit from it.

Among other things you will be reading about:

  • How to get a salary increase from a boss that you dislike;
  • Whats the secret behind having a motivation job; and
  • What are the advantages of keeping a gratitude journal?

Leaders need to encourage energizing interactions among their staff for a more creative organization.

It’s in our nature to be social animals. Positive interaction with close friends, family and colleagues will make any person energetic and confident. The confidence will then incite creativity and motivation.

The above statement is even more correct when two people have a high-quality connection. That kind of relationship will increase the energy level for both sides. A fantastic example of this is when you are having a terrible morning, and you have a conversation with a colleague about a topic that pumps you up. After the chat, you will feel rejuvenated.

According to Barbara Fredrickson (a pioneer of the positive psychology movement), high-quality connections are a necessity if a person wants to prosper professionally but also personally.

For companies, having creative and enthusiastic staff members means they have a definite advantage over their competitors. Businesses have to encourage these interactions to gain that advantage.

Research has proved that employees who take part in such high-quality connections are more creative and motivated about new ventures. These two things are essential for companies that are trying to be innovative.

So, what can leaders do to motivate their employees to form high-quality connections between them?

Every company can follow two popular strategies.

First, business leaders need to prove to their workers that they value and respect them, through communication. To put it in practice it means that managers should pay attention to what their employees say and value their opinion.

The second thing leaders can do to maintain positive interactions is encouraging their employees to play games in the workplace. Usually, this is done by organizing some team-building activity. The easiest way is to bring some equipment like ping-pong tables, basketball hoops or chessboards to the office.

Employees are most motivated when they see the meaning of their work.

What do you find most enjoyable in the workplace? Perhaps it’s the paycheck? The nice office? Or maybe something heartfelt. In most cases, it’s the latter.

If the work that’s being done is perceived as meaningful, then both the company and its employees will benefit from it. On top of that, meaningful work can be helpful for people outside the company as well. For instance, it can be beneficial for customers if you manage to make them feel happy and fulfilled. Doing this will motivate any employee.

Student employees from a call center at a Michigan University had a study where they were tasked to call alumni and ask about donations. When the study ended, the employees got to meet a former student who got a scholarship thanks to the funds that were raised by the call center. At that moment, the call center employees realized that their job is meaningful, which motivated them. A clear proof of that was the fact that every one of them started generating extra income.

This study is a perfect example of why employees should always be able to see the results of their work. In a business environment, this means the employees should be connecting directly to the customers who purchase their products.

For instance, Medtronic who is a medical technology company throws an annual party where they invite six patients, who benefited from the company’s products. These patients tell their stories, and the engineers and salespeople of the company get to hear what the end results of all their hard work were.

This is true for everyone and not just employees. The CEO of IBM demanded that the top 50 senior executives should visit no less than 5 of their most significant customers, over a three month period. He did this so the executives could see the results of their work.

Sometimes it’s not possible for the employees to connect with the end customers of their company’s products. In that case, leaders should ask their employees to share work stories in which they helped an employee. A good example is the investment bank Merrill Lynch where teams begin their Monday meetings by sharing positive stories about how they helped their customers.

Always negotiate mindfully: don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment.

Negotiations are an everyday occurrence in life. They could be with our spouse, friends, colleagues or just a traffic cop who wants to give us a ticket.

Mastering the art of negotiation comes very useful in the business world, and it will have an impact on your career.

People tend to get emotional during a negotiation process, which can be beneficial in some cases but it can also ruin certain negotiations. This is why we need to keep emotions at check, and it’s essential to maintain a mindful negotiation.

Mindful negotiation means that you need to be sufficiently concentrated. Don’t let your mind wander off on negative thoughts because if you do and your emotions get the best of you, you will never get what you wanted.

Imagine you are in a situation where you have to negotiate about salary with your boss who you despise because of something that happened in the past. By harboring these negative feelings and unleashing them during the negotiation, you will become emotional, and most likely you won’t get what you want.

However, if you negotiate mindfully, your thoughts will be aimed at proving why you deserve a raise and not on unpleasant thoughts. Doing this will increase your chances of success drastically.

Mindful negotiation is accomplished by keeping all your emotions towards other people at check. For instance, if someone upsets you, don’t get angry. Instead, try to find out why he did those things that made you upset.

Taking an emotionally neutral perspective will make it much easier for you to negotiate with your colleagues.

Leaders should cultivate positive identities in their employees.

When are workers most efficient? The answer is when they are feeling good about themselves. There is a term for this called positive identity, which is what helps people focus and feel happy.

So, what is needed to make people feel good about themselves?

Positive identity can be explained by a specific GIVE model that consists of four elements.

Growth: noticing they are growing is one of the things that makes people feel good about themselves. For instance, when people acquire new skills, they tend to feel like they are turning into the ideal person they want to be.

Integration: connecting all the different parts of your life like family, work, and hobbies and making them work together is crucial if you want to have a positive identity.

Virtuousness: people consider themselves virtuous if they possess qualities like humility and integrity. You can’t have a positive identity without being virtuous. For instance, research has shown that workers who donate to the company’s employee support program, later feel more helpful and caring.

Esteem: people with positive identity are always searching for higher esteem. They want to be appreciated by everyone in their surroundings.

Leaders are also able to motivate their workers and push them to obtain a positive identity. They can do that by encouraging them to show their strengths and virtues at the workplace.

There is a great tool called the reflected best-self exercise, which is excellent for helping people find their hidden talents and character strengths.

This exercise begins when an employee starts gathering stories from coworkers, friends, and family about when and where all those people felt they were at their best as employees.

Those stories are then analyzed so the employee can find similarities between the strengths of the other people and themselves. Then they create an image about them which they take to work and employ their strengths there.

If a particular employee finds that empathy is his strength, then the business leader should make it possible for that worker to put his strength to use. For example, he can ask the employee to get between two colleagues that are quarreling.

By continually using their best qualities, people are sure to develop a positive identity.

Encourage yourself and your employees to thrive - you’ll be rewarded with confidence and renewed energy.

Was there a particular moment in your life when you felt truly alive?

Each of those moments is known as thriving, and they are characterized as moments of growth and learning.

Thriving always brings several benefits.

Employees who are thriving show higher levels of creativity, courage and overall job satisfaction. These types of workers are more confident, and they believe they can do any task that is put in front of them.

On top of that, a thriving employee never gets burned out by the job, because they enjoy it. They feel energized while at work, which allows them to stay engaged at all times.

Quite commonly, each company should help its employees thrive. The best way to do that is by creating a positive work environment.

This kind of environment can be managed by removing all types of disrespectful, rude and inappropriate behavior.

Danny Meyers, an owner of 27 restaurants across New York, has managed his success by encouraging civility at the workplace. If a particular chef disrespects his colleagues, then that chef has to make amends. If he refuses, he will be fired on the spot. By catering to this zero-tolerance policy, a positive work environment is guaranteed.

Looking at it individually, it is also possible to make yourself thrive. The best way to do it is by following this two tips.

First, gain additional expertise and knowledge. There was a study on high-tech workers that proved that people who want to get informed so they can discover new opportunities are often more motivated and confident than others.

Second, make sure you get enough rest and exercise.

Science has shown that doing cardiovascular training improves your mood for the whole work day.

However, getting enough rest is also crucial to staying positive. Always aim to get between seven and eight hours of sleep every night.

Employees are happier and perform better when they can craft their own job around their personalities.

In most companies, all workers are treated the same, no matter their background.

However, every person is unique in their own way, so companies who allow their employees to create their individual tasks benefit the most.

This is called job crafting, and it means that a worker can personalize his role in the company to fit his skills and values.

For instance, an executive who enjoys helping others reach their potential can modify his job, so it circles around tutoring workers and improving their skills.

Another example can be a marketing manager who is passionate about social media advertising might create a social media campaign specifically for the product launch he was working on at the moment.

Allowing job crafting will benefit the company as well. Research has shown that workers who craft their jobs are seriously outperforming everyone else.

So, how to set up job crafting? It’s a versatile concept that can be set up on various levels.

First, a job can be crafted, so it fits your strengths and interests. Imagine you are a salesperson who is passionate about blogging. Wouldn’t it be a great idea to start a company blog aimed at bringing new customers?

The second thing you can do is to ensure you spend time only with people that you like and reduce interaction with everyone that you dislike. If you have a terrible relationship with your boss, you can still find a way to deliver a fantastic job performance without having to interact with him. For example, you can communicate with him only through emails.

Companies should encourage their staff to be virtuous, as it improves morale and productivity.

Many people believe that the key to success for any employee in the business world is to be highly driven and ruthless.

However, an individual characteristic called virtuousness is far more important, even though a lot of companies ignore it.

Individually speaking, the most significant benefit of virtuousness is its intrinsic value: people feel great when they do something virtuous, like helping other people. This makes them happier and more productive which is very beneficial for the company.

So, what can be done to increase virtuousness at the workplace?

The best way is to start with gratitude, as one of the most common virtues. Research has revealed that appreciation is really beneficial and it improves physical health, cognitive performance, and social relationships.

You can promote gratitude by asking employees to maintain a gratitude journal. In that journal, workers can write down all the things they are grateful for, bot home and at work.

Another virtue that should be nurtured is transcendence. This attribute helps people find their real purpose. Setting goals that are good for society is one of the ways that encourages transcendence.

Back in 1980 Apple defined their goal as “One person, one computer.” With this, they wanted to show the world the joy and efficacy that is brought by owning a computer, and they were really successful. Employees were really motivated to aim towards this goal.

Employees appreciate ethical leaders, and this leads to higher performance.

What connects Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela? All three were ethical leaders: they were fair in their judgment, caring and respectful, and on top of that they tried to force their ethical ways upon their followers as well.

In business, ethical leaders usually have a positive impact on their workers. Research has proved that employees who believe their leaders are ethical are performing better and feel happy about their job. This most likely means that an ethical leader motivates the employees because they think their work is considered “good.”

On top of that, workers that have ethical leaders tend to be very ethical themselves. They are never discriminating which improves the work environment even more.

However, why are leaders the main point here?

Usually, it comes down to reciprocity which is an essential human norm. If the leader treats his employees with respect, they will reciprocate by doing the same.

An additional explanation is that employees consider their leaders to be role models and they want to be just like them.

For instance, you might find yourself in a situation where you could do business which is legal but not really ethical. Something like selling military technology to a company that has brutal regimes as their best customers. A leader who is ethical will refuse without question.

You need to think about which values describe you and then stick to them at all times. When you find yourself in an awkward position, think about those values and how would you feel if the consequences of the decision you were willing to make got published on the front page of the New York Times. If it will make you feel bad, then it’s against your values, and you shouldn’t do it.

Ethical leadership will grow in the future because customers are getting more informed and they are incredibly critical.

People are most likely to excel when they have hope, so it should be fostered.

In the pages above, we discussed several factors that improve the efficiency of employees. However, the most important thing which is crucial for human excellence is hope: a strong feeling that all things in your life can change for the better.

Hope has a severe effect on your thoughts, emotions, and actions. When you are hopeful, you feel prepared to reach any goal you have, which makes you confident and positive.

A lot of great leaders have tried to make other people hopeful. For instance, Nelson Mandela was fighting for better human rights, by making other people believe that a better future is possible, even though he had to suffer for it.

There are lots of ways to incite hope.

An excellent method is to try and act like all of your goals were possible, no matter how unreasonable they are. The first step is the hardest because if you never try, you will never succeed.

Take a look at Ray Anderson, the founder of Interface Inc., which is a carpet company worth over $1.1 billion. Back in 1994, he stated that he would eliminate all the adverse effects that his company had on the environment. When he said that, it sounded a bit farfetched, however, he took action as if it was the most natural thing to do. What was the result? By 2009, his goal was halfway finished.

During bad times, hope is essential, which is why it needs to be catered and fostered.

During the hardships of post-genocide Rwanda back in 2005, a local called Odile Katese decided that people deserve much more than struggling. She created a women’s drum group to try to turn people’s attention towards something that was going to bring hope and joy to them. In a short period, the group became successful and became known all around the world. It was apparent that those people were really craving hope.

When implementing change, leaders should see employees as resources, not resisters.

Change is ever-present, and it’s weird how most people don’t manage change effectively.

Companies are especially bad at that, and change usually creates problems between employees and leaders.

Why is it like that?

Mostly because leaders believe that employees are always against change. It doesn’t matter what kind of change is being planned. Most leaders have the feeling that his workers will be going out of their way to sabotage that move.

Leaders get annoyed by these occurrences, and a lot of times they just decide on something without talking to the employees first.

Of course, once the employees see what happened, they feel ignored and become even more resistant towards change.

It’s a vicious cycle and leaders should do their best not to get sucked into it. They should avoid getting distracted by employees who are resistant to change, and they should focus on all the others, which will guarantee future growth for the company.

There are several proven ways to do this.

The first thing a leader can do is give his employees freedom to experiment. This will help him create change by using some of his employee’s ideas.

A perfect example of employee innovation is the story of Ethan who was a manager at a women’s clothing store. He noticed that a particular dress wasn’t selling well, so he decided to cut the straps off the dress and turn it into a beach cover-up. Ethan’s action resulted in this item being a real best seller.

The second way is to help your employees understand how good a particular change can be. To do this, ask them questions like “What skills are you going to improve with this change?” “Will you be able to forge new relationships?” and “In what ways you will grow as a person?”

However, be prepared because accomplishing this can be very difficult. It’s basic human psychology to hold on to the things that you are going to lose because of the change, instead of the new things that can be gained.

Final Summary

A lot of organizations would be better off if their leaders knew how to consider all the human elements of leadership, like emotions. This would benefit companies because they will get a more productive workforce, while the employees would feel fulfilled and happy.

Actionable advice:

Try to give 100 percent of your attention to someone.

The next chance you get to talk to someone, make a real effort to show them how much you appreciate them, by carefully listening to them. This means that you should put your phone away, move away from the computer and close the book in your hands. You should only be listening to the person in front of you.