The power of positivity is often overlooked — and if used well can promote a more comfortable environment. Even when you may not be physically present, your attitude can influence the mood of others. Bringing a positive mindset into your conversations around the workplace, and within your household, can open doors for deeper discussions and a healthier work ethic. Positivity is also infectious and encourages others around you to match the mood. Here are a few tips you can implement and share with those around you.
How to communicate
It’s common to assume that being a positive influence involves giving the best advice, but learning what not to say is a skill that each of your relationships will benefit from. Practicing your listening skills is essential if you care about truly understanding someone else’s problems.
When our friends or loved ones are feeling stressed, anxious, or low in confidence, they tend to avoid sharing their true feelings. They may want your advice, but might also feel like it is an added pressure or weight on their shoulders. This is why it’s important to be patient and a good listener — sometimes your opinion isn’t the most helpful.
If you want to bring positivity into a situation, try listening first and asking open questions. Here are three simple suggestions to help you say the right thing:
- Instead of asking “Are you ok?”, where someone will almost always reply “yes”, try saying “How are you doing?”. This question is small and unthreatening. It doesn’t leave much room for the other person to jump to conclusions or get defensive.
- When someone is complaining or speaking in a negative tone, you could try giving a compliment either about their appearance or the work they have completed. Saying “your hair looks nice today” or “great job on that task!” seems easy, but words can travel deep.
- Another key skill for listening and speaking positively in a conversation would be to act as a mirror. Reflect what the other person is saying or feeling. By interpreting what they have said and repeating a few points, you are revealing how well you have listened and that you value their time.
How to act
We are all copy-cats. No matter how different our personalities are, each person is impressionable — and this is important to consider when thinking about how you influence the atmosphere. When I start a conversation with someone who has a different accent or dialect, I find it hard to resist mirroring their voice! The same goes for trying to stifle a yawn when everyone else is yawning. Humans are designed to copy each other, so if you want to spread positivity in the workplace you need to walk tall, sit up straight, and try not to yawn!
This is the same with family and friends. Simply smiling more and being productive will motivate others to do the same. So if you want to bump up the positivity, try being more aware of your body language, your attitude and how you behave. This is where you will start to see some good changes.
Watch how you react
If you want to see positive actions, take a closer look at your reactions. To be a supportive person or a great team player, you need to practise your poker face. When someone is feeling low, they might share things that you weren’t expecting to hear. Seeing someone react negatively, with shock or surprise, is the last thing they need in that situation.
Spend some time preparing yourself to keep neutral in difficult situations. If this is a relationship that you care deeply about, it’s a good idea to practice and perfect your reaction face, so they will feel comfortable opening up in future conversations.
If something accidental happened, something completely unexpected, how would you react? Perhaps someone elbows you or spills their drink on your leg! When we are unprepared for events like these, it is easy to feel frustrated or angry at the other person involved — but you can control how you react. Accidents can be opportunities to demonstrate grace and forgiveness, leading to better relationships and a stronger mindset for the rest of your day. No one feels happy holding a grudge, so try to react with a smile when the unexpected occurs.
Ending on a good note
To be a positive influence to others, you need to look after yourself first. You can get in touch with one of our wellbeing coordinators at WellBe if you feel like reading more content — or having a positivity make-over with one of our coaches!
Written by Ella Taylor
WellBe is spearheading the way to a brighter future for corporate wellness. Our innovative portal is scientifically designed and tailored to each individual employee to improve their wellbeing. We specialise in a range of services from coaching and therapists, to meditation and reading materials. Our aim is to reduce workplace stress that costs UK businesses £42 billion per year. Get in touch with us by visiting our site wellbe.global for more information.