18 Innovative Approaches To Improve Your Positive Thoughts, To Change Your Work Life And Your Leadership

Thoughts, positive or negative, influence our character, our behavior, our vision, how we deal with setbacks, how we build and maintain relationships, has direct impact on our body and health, emotions. For instance, negative thoughts affect our daily lives more than we think and can send us down a spiral of despair, depression, insecurity, anxiety and self-sabotage.

Needless to say, most people want to improve themselves, to evolve, to get ahead in their work life but have a tendency to welcome negative thoughts or ignore how to shut them down. Unfortunately, they end up hindering their accomplishments and career advancements.

That is why it is necessary to control the damage caused by our mind, to discipline our thoughts and emotions, to build up a robust positive attitude and to find peace of mind.

Wondering how to process and control negative thoughts, emotions and how to use a positive mindset to get ahead at work?

18 Innovative Approaches To Improve Your Positive Thoughts, To Change Your Work Life And Your Leadership

Thoughts automatically appear in our mind. They come from past experiences and from the fact that we believe what people have previously said about us. They can be brought up by a word, an image or a memory and employ torture words that decrease our self-esteem, worsens situations, such as “should”, “must” and “have to”.

Because they are spontaneous, we think that they are true. In the long run, thoughts sometimes become rigid beliefs, absolute truths.

Therefore, it becomes an imperative to gain control over them. Disciplining your mind, controlling your thoughts and generating emotions regardless of your environment, regardless the level of attack help you become more mature, make healthier decisions, become more creative, escape, heal bad memories.

 

Maintaining A Positive Mindset

Positive attitudes can become difficult to maintain in challenging situations in the workplace. But once acquired, it is a habit that can help you overcome bad situations.

Indeed, positivity ensures progress, diffuses situations, alleviates stress, reduces fear, increases endurance, increase self-esteem, attracts positive results and better opportunities. It requires inner work and is independent of external circumstances of the outcome.

There are many ways to bring positivity into the workplace and into your mind:

  1. Identify the source of your thoughts and check the memories that you store in your brain. Be selective about the information that come into your mind. Stay away from the news because they will negatively affect you. Have a joke of the day and send it to people who matter to you. Watch shows, listen to podcasts, audio books that will uplift you, inspire you and motivate you.
  2. Identify triggers, patterns in your thought process. How do they start? What my thoughts say about me? What are the consequences of my thoughts? What do you say regularly to yourself?
  3. Be aware of the content of your thoughts. Therefore, you will be able to interrupt them whenever they don’t help you, to delete the negative ones and replace them with forward-looking ones. Changing thought patterns is difficult because our brain generally resist change.
  4. Understand that you are not the prisoner of your thoughts. Be the one to change the atmosphere in the workplace. Don’t allow the environment to drain you or define who you are. Don’t let someone else control your behavior.
  5. Think about who you want to become and how you want to affect people. Write down 5 dreams that you have ever have, find 5 words to describe yourself and think about it several a day.
  6. Select and force your brain to redirect negative thoughts toward more pleasant alternatives. For example, think about the opposite of the negative thought, attach constructive emotions to an outcome, visualize a positive outcome for the situation or visualize the perfect life every day before you got to bed and everyday when you wake up.
  7. Focus on what is going right instead of what is going wrong. People give negative emotions more importance than the positive ones, which conditions our brain to bring up negative thoughts automatically and repetitively for a long period of time. You have the power to choose and train your brain to give positive emotions more attention.
  8. Accept the present moment and understand that it is inevitable. How to focus and stay in the present? Understand that panicking and worrying is useless, that the past is unchangeable and the future uncontrollable, that every experiences have made you who you are today.
  9. Give your thoughts a name and call them out whenever they send us down a negative spiral and challenge every single thought by speaking them out loud.
  10. It is easy to complain and whine, so be grateful that you have a job and show appreciation in your contribution.
  11. Learn to discern toxic coworkers. Don’t tolerate or focus on negative people.
  12. Get up early and work out before going to work to release the endorphins throughout the day.
  13. Create a positive work zone by insulating yourself with headphones for example. Also, avoid gossip at all cost, put up motivational objects around your desk. Take regular breaks from your cubicle to stop thinking, to meditate and go to the bathroom.
  14. Create a better work life balance to protect your home life. Leave the drama at work, be strict with your hours, avoid staying late and taking work at home.
  15. Behave positively as well. Meaning fake it until you make it.
  16. Separate yourself from the negativity and surround yourself with open-minded people with a positive mindset. Stick positive quotes on your wall of your cubicle or on your desk.
  17. Take a class after work or find a hobby so you have something to look forward to at the end of the day.
  18. Discreetly find a more comfortable and productive workplace.

The Need For Positive Leadership

Positive leaders have a moral compass, are purpose driven, communicate effectively, exhibit integrity and provide emotional safety. Because they inject good energy into the team, they instill an atmosphere of trust and openness they rip enthusiasm, motivation, transparency from their team.

Positive leaders are able to impact their company culture, improve results, increase performance and enhance job satisfaction.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

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Can You Perform Under Pressure In The Workplace?

We all have had major presentations in front of our peers that determine whether or not we will be fit for the next promotion, whether we contribute effectively to the team, where we feel the pressure to succeed.

Overloaded, overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, some of us make it through these pressure moments and others fail.

As a matter of fact, leaders and employees are constantly under pressure in corporate:

  • their time is under custody,
  • the customers require quality product in record time,
  • the teams need expertise,
  • teams compete against each other at all levels,
  • teams bully one member of their team,
  • teams, stakeholders and organizations have high expectations,
  • the market is unstable or the company is downsizing,
  • hierarchy formulates unreachable financial demands,
  • there is a constant need for results and numbers,
  • technology has us connected to our work 24/7,
  • each individual applies pressure on themselves to succeed…

Wondering how to handle, minimize the effects of these pressure moments at work and moreover how to control your reactions to them?

Can You Perform Under Pressure In The Workplace?

Pressure is indeed independent from the work class and social status. Pressure affects creativity and productivity.

Pressure is much more visible when starting a new job. We feel obliged to fit in and show our contribution to the team and we tend to overdo ourselves.

We arrive early, we live late, we work harder than the rest, meet expectations, make mistakes which leads to anxiety and stress.

Therefore, the desire to perform better, the need for results are pressing which deepens the stress: we stop trusting our main competencies and like Boxer the horse in George Orwell’s, we just start to work harder.

However, in reality, by working harder, you have great work ethic but you are no longer considered as a team player, a thinker or strategist and therefore become expendable.

The impacts of pressure?

Everyone has a threshold for pressure. There are definitely two types of pressure: the one we impose on ourselves and the one people put on us.
Pressure can have a negative effect on people: aggressiveness, loss of appetite, insomnia, headache, back pain, and stress.
The term stress was first adopted by Hans Selye in 1936 and is defined as a feeling of inability to respond to high stake demands in critical situations.
Stress is a fundamental human reaction, rooted in our self-preservation instincts, that impacts our cognitive health, clouds our decision-making process and our judgement, compromises our perceptions and behavioral skills, and lowers our abilities.
It leaves people cold, uptight, defensive, with the feeling of quitting everything. However, stress is not all bad. 
Stress provides adrenaline for those who are lacking motivation. In addition, poorly managed stress will eventually damage someone’s career, collaboration, trust and can results in absenteeism, and chronic health problems.

How to perform under pressure?

As a leader, your behavior in pressure moments, impacts those around you and can predict their performance.
Leaders and employees tend to under-perform under pressure because:
  • the situation is critical for them and their survival,
  • the situation is critical for others and for the organization,
  • they fear that people will judge, criticize or reject them due to the outcome of their performance,
  • the outcome of their performance is unknown,
  • their environment is hostile and threatening.

Performing under pressure is a skill and can therefore be learnt. Below are 16 tips to improve your performance under pressure:

  1. Analyze the situation and your behavior. Take a step back, seek deeper insights in your thoughts and behaviors to identify stress triggers, weigh out the outcomes of the situation. How important is this situation for you?
  2. Focus on the task and not the results. It is necessary to clearly define your objectives by writing them down on paper beforehand. Objectives must be concrete, measurable and have an expected outcome. As a result, you are apt to stay in the present, not be distracted and most importantly take your time on the task.
  3. Remember your past success and current qualities, before and during critical situations, to understand that your worth is not intrinsic to the situation and to pass through the situation as a whole.
  4. Control the controllable factors (like your reactions to the situation) and release what you cannot control. Worrying about people or events beyond your control is a waste of energy.
  5. Find coping mechanism and back up plans to avoid reproducing the same mistakes.
  6. Anticipate all the potential obstacles before beginning the task to prepare for the worst, make a list of solutions and implement them before debuting the task. For example, when the waters are calm, write down the essential procedures.
  7. Become insensitive to pressure by subjugating yourself to it as often as necessary, until the performance becomes automatic.
  8. Remain positive and visualize the pressure moment as a challenge or fun experience, an opportunity to showcase your talents. Embracing stressful situations builds self-confidence, energize, boosts motivation, allow you to perform at your authentic level.
  9. Believe that there will be many more opportunities coming our way, by seeing the moment as training session for the right opportunity.
  10. Influence your brain to accurately interpret a high pressured situation. We have a tendency to distort situations through our lenses and either make them grander than they are.
  11. Assume strictly positive outcomes of the stressful situation and speak positivity into reality.
  12. Practice a relaxation technique: breathe, look and listen to the noises around you, take full advantage of your breaks. or just listen to music.
  13. Avoid useless and unproductive interactions if you can. If you are unable to avoid negative interactions, isolate the information that you need from the interaction. Write down that information and do not rely on memory or distorted thoughts.
  14. Recognize that the pressure that you are receiving from someone else has nothing to do with you.
  15. Take responsibility for your actions, admit and accept your errors when things don’t go your way.
  16. Make sleep a priority. When feeling tired or fatigued, switch tasks, start with the most complex one in the beginning of the day and make to do lists before the end of each day.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath aims to help people, in a various number of roles and of environments, identify their talent to build their strength, improve their confidence, their sense of purpose, their health and their relationships.

Furthermore, Tom Rath claims, according to scientific research, that personality traits, skill sets, passions and interests inherited  at a young age are still present in adulthood and need to be jump started and regularly exercised and be improved with knowledge and skills. Without exercise your natural talents, the muscle stays under developed.

In the workplace, for example, when strengths are not identified and not used, workers tend to lose their engagement and the devotion to their work, to suffer from anxiety or depression.

This is why, in StrengthsFinder 2.0, Tom Rath has identified 34 “themes of talents” to categorize the different set of skills discovered in the workforce. Knowing your strengths allows you to distinguish blind spots, to be more conscious of them and to understand the impacts of such strength, to “be aware of your potential and your limitations”.

What about weaknesses?

StrenghtsFinder 2.0 helps identify weaknesses or “areas of lesser talents” in certain occupations. Surely, knowing your weaknesses will enable you to work around them or totally avoid them, to know who yo work with that can complement your skills set.

StrengthsFinder 2.0 is associated to an online tests from Gallup Inc. Using its database of interviewees, the test assesses and analyzes the top 5 themes of talent among the 34 themes of talents.

34 themes of talent?

Below, a brief summary of each theme of talent and in which job to apply the given talent.

  1. Achiever

Constant need for achieving something tangible every day in order to define success.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for jobs that allow you to work as hard as you want and gives you autonomy to measure your productivity.
  • Set challenging goals, create deadlines, measure progress.
  • Acknowledge success, personal and professional achievements before moving on to the next challenge.
  • Pursue your education by obtaining certificates, attending classes, conferences, etc…
  • Do not compromise on the quality of your work.
  1. Activator

An impatience to take action and a decisiveness over the steps taken. Ability to learn from every stages crossed, every steps taken and every results obtained.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that allows you to make and implement your own decisions.
  • Ask not to be judged on your process but on the outcomes of the process.
  • Help others transform innovative ideas and concepts into concrete action.
  • Create plans of actions to move blocked situations forward.
  • Expose yourself to challenging situations.
  • Earn your bosses, managers and team members trust first and give the reasons for your desire to take action.
  • Energize plans and people. Motivate them to take action as well.
  1. Adaptability

A high responsiveness and reactivity to current situations as well as a flexibility in challenging situations.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where situations are constantly moving, unpredictable and unstructured.
  • Because you enjoy unpredictability, rolling with the punches, you remain calm, reassuring and collected in stressful circumstances.
  • Foster a reputation of being calm and reassuring during upsetting events.
  • Adjust your responsiveness to unanticipated events. However, on the job, because you are flexible to events, don’t compromise too much and don’t let people take advantage of you.
  1. Analytical

A need to test other people’s theory and to make sure that it is flawless, an enjoyment for analysing data, connecting data and searching for patterns in them.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that lets you theorize, analyze data and find patterns.
  • Rely on trustworthy sources of information
  • Find the proper settings to beneficially communicate your thoughts.
  • Explore ways to apply and implement your theory.
  1. Arranger

A search for the most productive configuration possible and for the best way to do things. An impersonation of effective flexibility, an ease in dynamic situations and an excitement for complex multi-faceted projects.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where assignments are complex and events are concurrent.
  • Use your Arranger talents in team building and group organizing.
  • On your job, track your deadlines to reassure your boss or clients.
  • Avoid routines and static organizations.
  1. Belief

A possession of core values that can be family oriented, altruistic or spiritual, ethics and a value for responsibility in yourself and others.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that aligns with your values and that has both meaning and purpose.
  • Balance work demands and personal life.
  • Motivate others by sharing your values with them and learn to understand different systems of belief.
  1. Command

A willingness to take charge, a comfort in imposing your view to others, in confrontation and directing.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you can take the lead, persuade others, face intense and challenging situations and find a cause to defend in the face of resistance.
  • “Practise the words, the tone, and the techniques that will turn your ability to confront into real persuasiveness”.
  • Be candid to your colleagues on sensitive subjects.
  • As you are intimidating, ask for your colleagues’ opinion once in a while.
  1. Communication

An incitement “to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write”.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you have to capture people attention, speak publicly and present a subject.
  • Practise your speeches, study your audience, refine the words you use and improve the message you convey.
  1. Competition

A perpetual desire for competing and for winning.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you can “measure your achievements”.
  • Select high achieving people in your organization to compete with.
  • Transform elementary tasks into competitive games.
  • Learn the reasons of your wins as much as the reasons of your loss.
  1. Connectedness

A belief that you belong to something larger and an understanding that everyone is connected.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you can “listen and counsel” and benefit from multicultural and multinational experiences.
  • Explain to your colleagues, their respective strengths and contribution to the team.
  1. Consistency

A need for balance and impartially. A belief that everyone should be treated the same and should be held to the same rules, policies, procedures.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you can uniformly be fair to all your colleagues, implement conscientious meritocracy and “enforce compliance to a set of standards”.
  • Define and apply the rules that you abide by.
  • Defend your beliefs even in the face of resistance.
  1. Context

A need to look at the past to understand the present and the future, to make better decisions.

Tips for improvement

  • Apply for a job where you have to remember and remind people of what has happened before, where you can study cases from the past and map the future with them.
  • Help your coworkers to study and learn from past projects.
  • As you learn from the past, avoid living in it but seek out mentors to relate their history to you.
  1. Deliberative

A need to assess risks and to weigh all implications before vigilantly going into the world that is a minefield.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you can “advise and counsel” and take time to process a decision.
  • Observe your coworkers, help them consider the pros and the cons of their choices and temper their impulsive behavior.
  • Take heed of people pushing you to reveal too much of yourself. Conceal confidential information about yourself and detain your opinion until you get all the facts straight.
  1. Developer

A need to jump-start a growth and learning process in promising individuals in order for them to experience success. An inner drive for mentorship.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that allows you to further one’s advancement and to push one to success.
  • Avoid loosing causes and extreme cases where the individual “is consistently struggling in his or her role”.
  • Remind yourself of your own development. “Find a mentor or coach who can invest in you”.
  1. Discipline

An urge for order, exactitude, perfectionism and predictability. A need for plans, timelines and deadlines.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that demands structure and routine, with situations that need to be perfected, more effective and more time-saving.
  • “Accept that mistakes might depress you” and that “others may not be as disciplined as you are”.
  • Create well-organized spaces and deadlines in order to conveniently accomplish your task at hand.
  1. Empathy

An ability to understand people’s emotions and acknowledge their point of view and perspectives.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you serve others.
  • Help your colleagues understand their emotions, their reactions towards themselves and others, and help them prevent misconduct.
  • Recognize and support great achievements in the workplace.

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  1. Focus

A need for setting goals, priorities daily and an ability to filter out unwanted and unfitted information that doesn’t efficiently lead you toward your destination.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you are autonomous, able to select projects that align with your mission.
  • Measure your progress toward your goal, set deadlines and follow through on schedule.
  • Help your team members set and recall goals.
  1. Futuristic

A fascination for the future. A detailed, hopeful and inspiring vision of the future.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you can share your futuristic ideas, your vision for an organization, for your career or someone else’s.
  • Spend time thinking about the future, find ways to concretely implement your ideas, to articulate them to a specific audience and to support them.
  • “Gain knowledge that will fuel your imagination”.
  1. Harmony

A will to minimize conflicts, confrontations. A continual search for consensus, common ground. An ability to keep your peace in conflict, your opinion to yourself and to adjust your goals to a situation.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that requires networking skills, dealing with different perspectives and coming up with an agreement in a non competitive and non confrontational workplace.
  1. Ideation

A fascination for ideas and a constant search for the connections between them.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that accredits your ideas.
  • Stimulate yourself constantly to avoid boredom by making small changes in the routine.
  • “Finish your thoughts and ideas before communicating them”. In addition, “learn to edit your own ideas”.
  • Identify the places, the people, the context that produce the most ideas.
  1. Includer

A resolve to include, accept, involve everyone in a group, and make them feel included and equally important.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job “in which you can take responsibility for representing voices that are not usually heard”, in which you can interact with people and “bring together people of divers cultures and backgrounds”.
  • Excluders and elitists are distasteful and irking to you but learn to include them as well.
  1. Individualization

An acute ability to observe, consider and appreciate the unique qualities, styles, motivation, thinking pattern of an individual.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job that requires noticing people unique qualities, understand and working with diversity, and that helps people realize and capitalize on their strengths.
  1. Input

A desire to collect and store interesting information and objects in the hopes that some day they will serve a purpose.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job “in which you are charged with acquiring new information each day” and are able to become an expert.
  • Implement a database to efficiently store the acquired information.
  • Identify occasions to share you knowledge. Find ways to articulate and output the acquired information.
  1. Intellection

An enthusiasm for introspection, for the thinking process, mostly done in solitude.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job in which you can pursue studies, engage in intellectual debates, challenge and evaluate people’s thinking, in which “you get involved in the front end of projects and initiatives, rather than jumping in at the execution stage”.
  • Take time to think and “follow an intellectual trail”.
  1. Learner

An enticement for the learning process without seeking to become an expert or acquiring academic schedules.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job as a consultant, that requires “some form of technical competence” in a “field with constantly changing technologies or regulations”.
  • Understand and improve your learning process, and celebrate every milestone.
  • Regularly schedule and subscribe to learning programs at work or in your community.
  1. Maximizer

A thrill for cultivating an existing strength into excellence.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job to help people succeed by focusing on their strengths.
  • Identify your own talents, cultivate them and find out how theory can lead to success by rubbing shoulders with successful people.
  • Come up with ways to measure your performances and those of other people.
  • Find ways to make your weaknesses irrelevant.
  1. Positivity

An ability to see the best in every situation and inject drama in every situation. A contagious enthusiasm, optimism, energy and an excitement for life.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job where you are able to “highlight the positive” and encourage people.
  • Steer clear from cynics, negative people. “Spend time in highly positive environment that will invigorate and feed your optimism”.
  • Acknowledge challenges and use your positivity to get through them.
  1. Relator

A comfort in intimacy, in building relationships. A willingness to trust and share feelings, goals, dreams, fears in order to deepen an existing relationship.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job in an informal organization.
  • Schedule social events with your colleagues to forge genuine bonds with them.
  1. Responsibility

A duty to take “psychological ownership” for performing or completing a task, to be accountable for the success or failure of projects.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job in which determination and autonomy are needed, where .
  • Volunteer for more responsibility at work, asess your talents before handling a particular project and review your performance at the end of the project.
  • Learn to refuse opportunities before committing to them, by selecting the areas of opportunities that come your way.
  1. Restorative

An enticement for solving complex problems, finding solutions, analyzing challenges and restoring a situation back to normal.

Tips for improvement:

  • Apply for a job in which you “solve problems or in which your success depends on your ability to restore and resolve” and your ability to turn failing situations around.
  • Communicate to your team members that you enjoy solving problems but learn how to let them solve their own problems.
  • Learn how to “anticipate and prevent problems before they occur”, how to identify and prevent existing patterns and reoccurring causes of a problem.

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