On the bright side

Recent research indicates that happiness in the workplace is gradually improving. With a one in three figure moving towards an approximate one in four employees stating feelings of unhappiness at work, we are certainly moving in the right direction.

Of course, more employers are now doing their bit and concentrating on well-being, creating more responsive, flexible working environments in a bid to stem any potential recruitment and retention issues. This does not, however, detract from the individual’s ability to cultivate and maintain an optimistic approach in the workplace, which is, in itself, is a skill most definitely worth developing.

Apart from the obvious outcome – life has to be more enjoyable if you’re able to adopt this frame of mind – the main positive that comes from being an optimist in a work situation is that you’re far more likely to identify and seek out the opportunities that will help you achieve more in your working life if you happily, and optimistically, go looking.

A glass half full person is most likely to succeed because they actively look for the chance to improve and better their circumstance, overall.

So how do we develop this level of positive thinking and see the brighter side?

A lucky few are born with an optimistic outlook, others need to work harder to cultivate it. The good news is that such a state of mind is achievable for the majority as we all have the ability to shape our thoughts and actions to some extent.

There are many self-help books and manuals, not to mention workplace and leadership gurus, out there to help us reach a level of improvement that will impact on our business success. In fact, the packaged up sale of techniques, that can help us to adopt an optimistic approach, is a whole industry in itself.

Given that, here are some informal pointers to provide an easy short cut:

Look for the solutions – Try not to dwell on where things have gone wrong when confronted with a problem and avoid apportioning blame. The best thing to do is to look for a solution, considering what choices the situation has left you with. Taking a proactive approach is far more likely to lead to a positive outcome and keeps things moving forward.

Focus on your goals – Think of what your goals are and then visualize yourself achieving those goals. Create a mental picture of what your desired outcomes are and revisit this image on a daily basis.

Surround yourself with positivity – Keep in the company of optimistic people and those who constantly achieve. Positivity attracts positivity. It’s far easier to be motivated if you surround yourself with motivated individuals.

Keep an open mindThose with a fixed mindset don’t recognize, or believe, that they have a choice and this can have an extremely negative effect, impeding development and growth. It most definitely gets in the way of your chances of success. Keeping an open mind, or having what is now referred to as a ‘growth mindset’, means that you believe there are options and choices and that achievements can be made through hard work.

Be willing to take risks –  See above. This may seem a little left field but taking calculated risks is all about giving yourself the opportunity to learn and grow. It doesn’t matter if you fail, what matters is what you do from that point, in terms of moving forward.