A short while ago I wrote about styles of communication, and how to use the DISC personality test to better understand your own communication style as a tool of more effective communication. In this article I’m going to explore how a positive mental attitude can affect how you communicate with others. I’ll also look at some of the benefits of maintaining a positive mental attitude, and suggest a few ways in which you can develop positive thinking.
You are your attitude
Your attitude affects every part of your life. It affects your relationships, how you treat clients, and how you interact with colleagues. Attitude affects the contribution you make to society, how you perform at work, and your career development.
So just what is ‘attitude’?
Attitude is how you view life. It shapes how you react to different situations and events. Your attitude is motivated by how you think – and you are the sole decider of how you think. You get to decide if you view life, events, and situations positively or negatively. Those with a positive attitude see opportunities, where those with a negative attitude see problems: it’s the question of ‘is the glass half empty or half full?’
What effect does a negative attitude have?
With a negative attitude you’ll focus on problems instead of seeking solutions. Thinking negatively about yourself and your abilities is a self-perpetuating, downward spiral. It affects you and those around you. You’ll even start thinking that there is no way you could become positive, because you’re so negative about yourself, your abilities, and your prospects.
What are the traits of people with a positive attitude?
If you see things positively, you react with more enthusiasm and eagerness. You’ll be more deliberate. You’ll acknowledge that a problem exists, but instead of allowing it to determine how you act you’ll determine your own reaction. You’ll focus on the solution and look for the opportunity. Those with a positive attitude almost always outperform those with a negative attitude.
The benefits of a positive attitude
When you make the conscious choice to be positive, work and life become less of a struggle. You’ll become less stressed, and more empowered in your work. Your positivity rubs off on others: people prefer to work with happy people. Your positive attitude increases your enjoyment at work, and that increases your effectiveness. Your position will be more secure, and your career prospects will grow. A positive attitude transfers power of decision-making from others to you. You really do become the controller of your own destiny.
The negative effects of a negative attitude
The negative effects of a negative attitude affect you and others around you in similar ways. You’ll find that your communication style is negatively affected, and this increases the potential for miscommunication. You’ll become more close-minded, and less able to communicate openly.
Arguments, worry, and fear increase. Negative people look for where they can place blame. They criticize others, become jealous of the success of their peers, and spread an atmosphere of mistrust.
How to practice positive mental attitude
For many, the decision to be positive is the first step to increased self-awareness and higher emotional intelligence. All are interlinked. However, it is not a change that happens overnight, and it needs to be maintained by creating positive habits. Here are strategies that people with positive attitudes use to develop and maintain that state of mind:
Spend your time with positive people
Attitude is infectious. Their positivity and support will energize your own frame of mind.
Visualize your goals
By seeing the opportunity, you’ll be more able to set a course of action to reach your goals.
Deny negativity of thought
Instead of thinking ‘How bad is this going to be?’ think ‘How do I change this?’ Take a more rounded view, seeing things from both sides, and then anticipate the best result.
Understand that mistakes happen
Not everything is your fault. Mistakes happen. It’s how you react to them that matters.
Have confidence in your own ability, and be nice to yourself. Self-criticism is self-destructive.
Always set yourself stretching but realistic goals
You won’t hit a home run on every swing of the bat. It’s better to stay in the game by getting to your bases rather than set the bar too high and beat yourself up for a miss.
Positivity begets positivity
A positive attitude transforms problems into opportunities. It empowers a can-do motivation, which inspires those around you. You’ll be the one that others seek out for help and advice. Networking becomes easier, and you’ll be a more effective leader.
Contact Forward Focus today to discover how an Emotional Intelligence course will develop and embed effective interpersonal skills in the workplace for leaders, managers, and employees.