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Accentuate the positive

Every firm has its ups and downs, and that can have a major effect on morale. If times get tough or the firm has to drastically cut expenditures there’s often a negative emotion that grows until it pervades the enterprise. We’ve all seen places like that – the team members are moody, there’s a lot of internal complaining and bickering, and the firm’s performance suffers as a result.

Management has to take the lead and get everybody back on a positive mental track. The old song ‘Accentuate the Positive’ was never more relevant than in the contemporary world when changes to long-established businesses happen overnight and cause disruptions that can have long-term effects on the whole organization.

Set a positive example

Management – that’s you, has to set a good example by making a big effort to send out the right signals. Be positive and upbeat, even if you might be feeling a bit negative yourself. If you work at it and you’ll even start feeling better. Remember to praise good work, especially if some of the team is allowing their standards slip, and counsel those who are letting the side down.

Always look on the bright side

People with a negative mindset often can’t see anything positive around them. They look for the bad news and overlook the good news. Instead, focus yourself on finding the good news.

Don’t build on negatives

Firms experiencing trouble often adopt a negative view instead of finding solutions. In other words, they become overly defensive and don’t look for actions that will get them out of their holes. The more that negatives are discussed and focused on, the worse things will get. Instead, think positively and aggressively.

Admit to the real problems

The point you want to make with your behavior is that you know there are some problems but you’re working to overcome them. Accept that some of your people are feeling negatively and talk to them about it. This gives you the chance to correct any misunderstandings and enlist their help to resolve the real problems.

Reinforce your team’s successes

Any positive results – a big assignment from an existing client or gaining a new client, should be recognized immediately. Share the good news around and compliment everyone that made a contribution to the achievement. Take the attitude that any win is a good win and deserves to be celebrated.

Bond your team together

Stress often causes people to hide and to isolate themselves. The team structure is threatened because its members no longer work collaboratively. It’s up to you to re-establish their bonds and bring in a spirit of ‘let’s all work together’. You have to be the leader of the team and extend yourself to make sure everyone pulls their weight.

Share the problem-solving

Be upfront and share the problems with your team, but keep the focus on getting over the difficulties rather than on what their effects might be. Ask for the team’s help and suggestions; you may be surprised by the solutions they present. This also gives them a feeling that you’re all working together to return to a positive mode.

It’s up to you

Nothing goes smoothly forever. Most enterprises have cycles and there are going to be times when events coincide in such a way that a feeling of negativity goes right through a firm.

That’s when management has to act by working to overcome negativity and refocus the organization on positive issues. It’s not going to happen unless you make it happen!


Article courtesy of RAN ONE: