Overcoming the Fear of Positives
Short-sighted leaders are stingy with positives and free with negatives. Their talk is constantly dark. They focus on:
- What’s not working.
- What you need to improve.
- What didn’t reach the mark.
- What could be better.
Words are like fertilizer. They are the reason behaviors take root. Negative questions build negative environments.
Leaders who don’t celebrate are negative.
Your biggest opportunity to build positive culture is day-to-day. Thoughtless leaders only celebrations “important stuff.” Their strategy tells everyone that day-to-day doesn’t matter. But, organizational life is filled with day-to-day.
Celebrate frequently; celebrate unimportant stuff, celebrate small.
Leaders who don’t define, create, and celebrate wins, lose.
Ask positive questions.
- What’s working?
- What do you respect in those around you?
- What do you love about your organization?
The thought of asking positive questions terrifies leaders who fear slipping into apathy. Negatives are easy for people who aren’t there yet. But, positives provide energy for the journey.
“Great job,” helps people do a great job as long as there are new goals ahead.
- Say, “You’re great with upset customers.” Don’t add, “I wish I was.”
- Share stories of wins.
- Transform criticism into celebration. “Thanks for caring for my success. What’s the next step?”
- A past failure is all the more reason to celebrate a present win. Don’t keep reminding people they screwed up.
- Future uncertainty is all the more reason to celebrate today’s win.
How do people feel when you’re around? The way they feel is the culture you’re building. Truth is, the way people feel around you indicates the life you’re building.
How can leaders celebrate “unimportant” stuff?