It could affect how long you live. Research from Boston University suggests that optimists are more likely to live longer more heathier lives.
So how can we become more optimistic in this world when the media are constantly reporting bad news.
Avoid the ‘energy suckers’! When you greet people at the start of the day with “how are you today” this is an invitation for them to tell how bad everything is in their world. You may have started your day feeling bright and energised but these people can quickly bring you down. You know who they are so avoid them.
Start looking for things that are going well when you are MBWA (managing by walking about). We are trained to spot mistakes and were pretty good at telling those involved Praise or compliment yourself and others when you see things going well. We all enjoy being recognised for doing well. It makes us feel proud, motivated to do more and puts a smile on our face.
We all think we do this all the time. But the reality is we don’t, just ask your partner or kids. If you ask a group of managers if they regularly praise their colleagues their response is ‘of course, all the time’ but when you ask their colleagues it’s a different story.
We need to regain the habit, and the good news is that’s its free, you don’t need a budget or your bosses’ authority to say to a colleague ‘Well done, thank you. Its free all it cost is your time and thoughtfulness.
To be effective praise needs to be: genuine, specific, honest, timely and as often as possible. Don’t ration praise or keep it until appraisal time.
It can make a huge difference to the attitude and well-being of your team. And remember you get more of the behaviour of the things you reward.