Last month we explored the first—Take 15—in the series of 5 Daily Career Do’s. These are the first “must do” daily activities that will help us grow and advance our careers. If you recall, these “Daily-do’s” lay the foundation for any career transition or leadership move; in fact most individuals cannot succeed in any professional endeavor without employing these five actions somewhere along their journey.
Now that you’ve successfully mastered “Take 15” I’m going to give you second step: Be Positive. Yup, you heard me right. I know it seems simple, and if I were to ask for a show of hands, I’d find an auditorium filled with “positive” people raising their hands because we are positive, all the time, to everybody, right? But is that really true? Are we truly seen as positive people? And do people feel uplifted and inspired by our presence? If so, then we are well on our way to growing amazing careers. But if you’re not so sure, read on….
Why Positivity? Why do you think that being positive something that will help you grow your career? There are numerous reasons. To begin, we’ve all heard of the law of attraction—”like attracts like.” This also applies to the energy that we put out there into the universe (cue meditation music) Seriously, when you are thinking and behaving in a positive fashion, you attract positive people and opportunities. Think about your past experiences and those you’ve had with others. I’m certain those interactions occurred when you were feeling positive about yourself and radiating that positivity to other people. Great things go your way when you are at your best.
Positive Science. Career growth via the law of attraction all begins with being positive. And being positive begins with thinking positive thoughts. Barbara Fredrickson, a researcher at the University of North Carolina, published a landmark paper on the personal and professional impact that stem from positive thoughts. Her “Broaden and Build Theory” describes how when you’re experience positive emotions, your mind is more open which in turn allows you to build new skills and attract resources that bring value to your life. This research is built on the known theories that happy people have a continual upward spiral that leads to new success, which results in more happiness.
React Positively. A client of mine, Syliva, is the supervisor of a very negative person. Her subordinate took every opportunity to cut down Sylvia’s ideas, suggestions and leadership style. Unfortunately, Sylvia’s first instinct was to react to her team member, firing back as provoked. That only fueled the fire making Sylvia’s job as a leader extremely difficult. She grew to despise being a supervisor and her other teammates were losing respect for her as a leader. The good news is that Sylva worked on what she could control—her reactions (positive) and the energy (positive) that she exuded to others. Sylvia’s positive reactions to an ongoing negative situation, not only diffused the subordinate bomb, but cultivated a more collaborative environment. Sidebar: A huge win for Syliva, she got promoted shortly thereafter. Was it luck? I don’t think so!
Positive Support. Sometimes we think we are being positive when we are really not. What people see on the outside truly impacts your career future. Point? No one wants to be around negative people. You know those individuals who are constantly complaining and talking about everything wrong in their life and while this is frustrating, it’s often a telltale sign of a deeper struggle. It’s hard to work alongside negativity while trying to be productive. If you, or someone you know is chronically negative or flipping back and forth between hyper happiness and deep depression, this is no laughing matter. Explore counseling as a support system in helping you heal and be whole again.
Stay Positive. I know it’s tough to be positive when you get hit with negative feedback, negative people or a rejection. The key is to explore how you can move past your negative reactions and internalization of the situation and on to bigger and better things. In coaching, I work with my clients to develop automatic cues that will help them quickly diminish negative thoughts and turn to positive thoughts. I’m here to help and can share with you countless stories of how positive people opened doors to exciting and lucrative opportunities. Now it your turn!