Saturday, 23 June 2018

The Power of Positivity

Does your school fully grasp the impact of culture on performance? Do leaders understand their culture for what it is and are they able to identify what they want it to be while working to fiercely protect what must never change?

Not all are convinced by positive psychology and the power of positive thinking, but authentic positivity plays a vital role in aligning and strengthening a school’s culture. Schools that find ways to emphasize a positive outlook and attitude are more likely to see improved performance and motivation among staff. 

However strong leadership is more than having a charismatic head of the school. Yes, a strong leader is where it starts, but great leadership, in clarity, has the opportunity to inspire at a level that cascades across the whole school in order to embolden, motivate, and steer toward even greater success.

Is it a purposeful choice or an accidental consequence? 

Southwest Airlines and Apple have very purposeful cultures. Are there any tips on how we could try and develop that culture in our schools? Here are 10 simple ideas:

1. Give positive reinforcement
I appreciate the way you…
I’m impressed with…
I really enjoy working with you because…
Your team couldn’t be successful without your…
I admire the way you take the time to…
You’re really good at…

2. Show gratitude
Thank Someone for something they did but weren’t expecting to get thanked for – be specific about what it was and why it was helpful or important; be sure to coby their boss.
3. Spread happiness
Smile and say “Hi” to twice as many people as you normally would – but be genuine in your smile.

4. Celebrate wins
Start a meeting off by sharing something positive that is going on in your group, project, work etc. Encourage others to do the same.
5. Celebrate
Find some occasion to celebrate with others, whether it be a project milestone, birthday, new house, etc. Pass around a card for people to sign or make a sign.
6. Encourage positive thinking
Anonymously post a positive quote or picture by the copier, coffee machine or some where else that receives high foot traffic so that others can see.
7. Change the way you respond
When someone disagrees with you about something at work, think “how interesting” instead of immediately getting defensive.
8. Get moving
If you have a meeting with only one or two other people, make it a walking meeting; get outside and get your blood pumping.
9. Encourage fun
Add some light fun by picking a day for a dress-up or desk-decorating theme – ex. hat day, wild sock day, or decorating with flowers, pictures of tropical places, etc.

10. Engage in random acts of kindness
Do something kind for someone else (especially someone who wouldn’t expect it). Offer to help them with something, give them a snack or treat, or simply ask them how their evening or weekend was or about something going on in their life.

Excerpted from Leading Clarity: The Breakthrough Strategy to Unleash PEOPLE, PROFIT, and PERFORMANCE (Wiley, April 3, 2018).

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