Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A new outlook: How optimism at work pays off

After watching Barack Obama take the oath of office and become the 44th president of the United States, a renewed feeling of optimism has swept over our country.

Despite our economic situation and the problems it has caused in our workplaces, today is a day to put those issues aside and focus on the future.

"Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier." -- Colin Powell

In his book titled, Straight Talk for Success, Bill Bilanich wrote a chapter on “Optimism” that provides useful advice given the economic situation we’re facing, according to Steve Roesler at All Things Workplace.

Bud notes that optimism not only propels us toward our goals but allows people to experience hopefulness. In a crisis, optimists see problems as temporary. They don't blame themselves and they don't feel doomed. He also offers some factoids related to optimism:

  • 75% of Americans consider themselves to be optimists.
  • 99% of workers prefer a positive job environment. (No surprise there!).
  • 90% of people say they are more productive around positive people.

Though we can’t do much to fix the economy, Bilanich suggests there are a few actions you can take to stay optimistic during these times of uncertainty:

  • Stop wasting your time on issues that can’t be changed. Instead, focus on what you can do to change the parts of your life that you have control over.
  • Understand and tap into your natural strengths.
  • When a problem arises, mentally rehearse how you will handle it.
  • Concentrate on the positive things in life and work.
  • Focus your thoughts on the possibilities of a situation rather than its limitations.

What techniques do you use to fight negativity at work?

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