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The Power of Positivity

       One of the first things I tell managers and supervisors in my workshops is that they are under constant scrutiny by the workforce - everyday and in everyway.  Everyone in their workgroup/department is always checking them out because they are in positions of responsibility and authority.  Employees determine how things are going throughout the workday and within the organization by observing how managers/supervisors are acting at any given moment.  And, because Employees collect 80% of their information from the non-verbal cues managers/supervisors give off and not from the words they speak, it’s how managers/supervisors act that really matters to Employees: if managers/supervisors have a worried expression constantly on their face, everyone in the workplace is effected - and not in a good way!  The attitude people in positions of responsibility exude has a greater impact on Employee performance than most managers/supervisors realize - especially in this period of extended gloom and doom, when Employees are feeling especially vulnerable to layoffs, wage reductions and changes in working conditions.        I’m not suggesting managers/supervisors act like Little Miss Mary Sunshine, and I’m definitely not suggesting being untruthful with the workforce – if the company is struggling to survive, the Employees need and have a right to know that information.  But if the message is "we’re not out of the woods yet but we’re working on it", it is important for managers/supervisors to display positivity – the state of being positive.      Barbara Fredrickson, a researcher in the science of positive psychology at the University of North Carolina, supports my position that managers and supervisors have the ability to influence the workplace and make it more successful by being positive.  In her book Positivity, she sets forth research showing that managers with greater positivity are more accurate in making decisions, are more effective in their relationships with employees, and infect their work groups with greater positivity, producing better coordination among team members and reducing the effort needed to get work done. In addition, research shows that work teams with a positivity ratio of 6:1 (for every negative statement or interaction, they performed six positive ones) are high-performance, while teams with a positivity ratio of 1:1 are low-performance. Manager/ supervisor positivity begins to have an impact on improving Employees’ performance at a 3:1 positivity ratio (three instances of positive actions to one instance of negativity). The Bottom Line:  Positivity doesn’t keep bad things from happening. However, because managers and supervisors are on "stage" from the moment they enter the company’s parking lot until they leave that same parking lot, how they choose to react to hardship – either with despair or with hope - influences how others in the workplace react also.  The Company’s success in these tough times may very well hinge on the amount of positivity managers and supervisors bring to the workplace.

Question: Don’t know if you are being positive enough?  Then check out your positivity level and find out how to increase it at:

                                                                                                                                                                           Go Go to for more information about the importance of Mindset and Attitude in the Workplace.