Make Everyday A Little Less Ordinary: How To Be A Positive Influence In The Workplace
No matter how brilliant or hard-working we are, we cannot succeed without the help and cooperation from others. In the 21st Century, the world has shrunk significantly as a result of modern technology. We have discovered we are not so different after all, language might be a barrier but we all have the same basic needs. The same can be said about the strangers we meet on the street or people we work with, both in the office and when working remotely.
Regardless of where you work or your occupation, we all have something in common. We spend a large part of our lives in a job that some of us like and some of us do not. If you find yourself in a job you do not particularly like, being positive and polite to others will make the journey more bearable. You may even begin to enjoy going to work. Leaders also need to strive to be positive influences in their workplace. Without your leaders, teams would struggle to stay on track, lacking a clear sense of guidance and support to turn to when challenges arise.
What we dwell on is what we become: How negativity impacts a workplace
A negative attitude does not just put others in a bad mood, it also has an impact on how an office functions, both in person and when working remotely. Here are some of the effects of a negative attitude:
- Lacklustre performance
- Unwillingness to work collaboratively
- Dismal outlook
- Unwillingness to try new things
- Reduced energy levels
- Depressive feelings
- Reduced quality of work
- Poor customer engagement
- Difficulty overcoming obstacles
Negativity can breed contempt and create an environment where there is no incentive to try. Colleagues may start to not trust one another and people will strive to get through the day rather than thrive, succeed and take initiative.
Today, I choose joy: How positivity impacts a workplace
When there are positive attitudes in a workplace, there is a feeling that anything can be accomplished. Colleagues support each other and work in tandem, alongside a host of other positive outcomes, such as:
- Increased productivity
- Greater probability of collaboration and teamwork
- Improved morale
- Ability to overcome adversity
- Willingness to think creatively and try new things
- Willingness to share information and ideas
- Lower turnover
- Increased sense of camaraderie
- Improved customer service
Positivity can be contagious, where everyone feels like they are on the same team. The effort becomes collective, and everyone’s ideas are valued and welcomed.
Every moment is a fresh beginning: How to decrease negativity
Even one or two negative people can bring down a whole workplace attitude. Try to find out the heart of what brings out the poor attitude. Perhaps it is temporary, such as a life struggle or personal issue. Or it may be a personality trait. In the former case, the staffer may need sympathy and redirection to get back on track. In the latter example, if an employee does not feel their attitude is wrong, there is no incentive to change. In this case, start tracking specific behaviours and take corrective measures. If circumstances do not improve, the company should take action with disciplinary measures.
Everyday is beautiful: Why is it important to be a positive influence?
Anyone who interacts with others is someone who influences others. The way you act and speak, how you manage your feelings, and the decisions you make will ultimately impact people around you. Even more so if you are the leader of a team or several individuals. The energy you put out affects others. To be a positive influence in your workplace, you must strive to put out positive energy with all those you interact with. Both face-to-face and virtually. Doing so will improve your relationship with your team, and present you as an approachable and effective leader or colleague.
However, being a positive influence is not as simple as just smiling and being happy. If you are a leader, there will be challenges you will have to face, and difficult conversations you will have to have. Part of being a positive influence, however, is maintaining optimism in terms of achieving your goals. Even if that means overcoming obstacles along the way.
Happiness never decreases by being shared: 10 tips on being a positive influence in your workplace
- Find purpose in what you do
Embracing meaningful work with purpose is the first important step to becoming a positive influencer. When you have a sense of direction and attachment to a cause, you become more engaged with your responsibilities and duties. You are much more likely to share what you have learned with others. Doing something because you want to will enable you to be a more positive influence in your workplace, both in the office and virtually.
2. Acknowledge that you are not perfect
Positive influencers are not afraid to admit that they do not know the answer to something. Claiming that you are perfect and do not make mistakes is not likely to give your team a positive impression of you. Instead, seeking out opportunities to learn new skills and information is a good way to show that you care enough to invest in yourself. When employees see someone that is not afraid to ask questions and continues to try and grow, it enables them to strive to improve themselves. Set an example and be a role model to others.
3. Build win-win relationships
Positive relationships that benefit everyone involved are the foundation of successful networking. Leaders should not try to use their influence to get people to just do what they want. Instead, they should focus on building collaborative relationships that are a win-win for all. Building authentic, supportive relationships can help all parties succeed in their objectives. This will help the team or department achieve as a company, in a smooth and cohesive working environment.
4. Look ahead
While it is important to take note of how things are in the present, positive influencers also look ahead to what things can become. This is especially true today when many organisations as a whole are losing morale and optimism due to the current state of business. Gauging what a team is capable of, and what goals they can reach, and inspiring them to do so is a great example of positive influence. Reminding team members of what is to come, and maintaining a positive outlook on the possibilities of the future is critical. With the right leader, teams will be able to see the future as something bright and will be much more motivated to work to make the changes they want to see. This can be addressed through goal setting, which helps employees to decide on goals or aspirations that they wish to achieve/reach.
5. Be open to criticism
Positive influencers want to better themselves, meaning they are open to criticisms from those who surround them. You can never accurately gauge where you stand without asking others for their input. Especially if your work and efforts directly affect them. Employees should be comfortable in accepting constructive feedback. They should encourage it too. When you embrace feedback that improves your work, this helps others to remain receptive and open to their own feedback. This creates a culture of support and mutual improvement. Positive influencers see criticism as a challenge that they are excited to take on, rubbing off this approach on their colleagues.
6. Help others as you ascend
A leader who wishes to maintain respect does not exploit their employee’s hard work but rather promotes that person’s accomplishment. They give recognition and credit due to the individual(s) who are responsible and place the employee’s success ahead of their own. This helps everyone to feel they are a part of the team, making a difference and being successful. They are on the path to fulfilling their job role and achieving a goal or target they may have set themselves.
7. Show your appreciation for others
Demonstrating that you care about others by appreciating their accomplishments is critical. If a colleague reaches a goal they have been striving towards, whether it is work-related or not, it is easy to congratulate them. Even celebrate if the achievement calls for it. On the flip side of things, when an employee is having a tough time, empathising with them and encouraging them is very important. Help your colleagues to recognise their strengths to course-correct and re-establish their focus. Show appreciation for others.
- Use your influence positively
Caring about your team and your goals is a good way to ensure that your authority and position is used for the greatest good of the company. Placing your colleague’s needs above your own will help to build positive and trusting relationships with others. This of course will benefit everyone. Notice if a colleague is having a bad day and have a chat, remaining positive throughout the interaction. This will only spread positivity throughout the workforce, both in the office and virtually.
8. Smile even when you are down
When things go wrong, smile and it will put you in a better mood. Even when the boss or a colleague is harassing you, or a colleague is not going along with the programme, simply smile. By smiling we release endorphins (happy hormones) and smiling tends to ease bodily tension. So flash those pearly whites and people around you will pick up on it and they will smile in return. This will have a positive influence on the workplace.
9. Be respectful of other cultures
By getting to know other people’s traditions, foods and beliefs we develop respect and appreciation for who they are. Every culture has something positive we can learn from and it is our moral duty to embrace and respect them. Do not join in with disrespectful or discriminating conversations around the office. You are inviting the same treatment from others and it does not help you to positively influence others. Even the very people you are agreeing with will lose some respect for you. The same goes for virtual chats, if someone messages you something disrespectful, ignore it. There are good people and bad people in every workplace, try to focus on what is good and decent in everyone. This positive and equal treatment of everyone will become a beacon, attracting cooperation across the board. Everyone will be happy. You will be spending eight hours a day, five days a week, 48 to 50 weeks a year with your colleagues, you might as well make it enjoyable and fruitful.
Do good and good will come to you: The last word
The best leaders and employees are those who are also positive influences. This is not a skill that someone has to be born with but more likely a series of intentional efforts. Now more than ever, organisations need employees who remain positive when faced with challenges. Maintain a positive outlook on the future of business, rather than giving in to negative energy. This is critical in maintaining team-wide morale and enthusiasm.
Written by Lewis Bridges
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.