Leading Positively.

Something I learned early in my career as a business leader and entrepreneur was to give credit where credit is due.


One of the most impactfully simple ways to do this is to do what’s called a “shout out.”It’s a simple method that can be used to wrap up team meetings.


Here’s how it works.


At the end of each teammeeting wrap it up with a string of shout outs. Shout outs are given as verbal, public recognition and kudos for individuals and teams that are performing at high levels and exemplifying your organizational values in action. Anyone can shout out, and everyone is invited to do so.


Recently, during a client strategy meeting that was particularly challenging for the leadership team, I found myself offering up a group shout out. The shout out was for what the team did together to exemplify the values, foster deeper team connection, and build trust with one another. During this meeting, the team openly disagreed and challenged one another, all with the aim to move the organization to better thinking.


Specifically, this shout out was aimed at a key attribute that teams always create and uphold: the culture.


What I found myself saying was “we all face challenges within our daily work, big ones as of lately. As a team, we have been highly successful in turning these challenges into opportunities. The doorway in which we do this is positivity. Kudos to everyone of you for upholding this positivity.”


Tapping into Positivity


In addition to delivering the free currency of a shout out, Shawn Achor, the well-known and highly respected Positive Psychologist and author of the Happiness Advantage offers some tips on nurturing positivity.


1. Priming positivity. Create a two-minute daily habit of thinking of and writing down three new things you are grateful for each day, journaling about a positive experience for two minutes, meditating by watching your breath go in and out or writing a positive 2-minute email.


2. Use success accelerants. Coffee cards where you have to get 12 stamps you get two free stamps before then buying 10 cups of coffee accelerates purchasing because your brain sees that you are already 1/6 the way through. Our brain accelerates the closer we perceive success. If you make a checklist of tasks for the day, include several things you have already accomplished. If you are starting a new positive habit, don’t start at zero, includingthe day or two you have successfully avoided dessert or exercise.


3. Don’t wait for happiness. If we raise your success rates, happiness remains the same. Raise happiness levels in the present, find meaning at work, connect to the people around you, perceive stress as enhancing, and your success rates rise dramatically. Happiness at work fuels success.


Any company has challenges. It’s the nature of doing business, and overcoming them is the nature of most work. When we are at our best, we humans are essentially creators. Positivity breeds beautiful creations—in business, in brands, in our work as leaders.


Also check out Shawn Achor’s great TED Talk: The Happy Secret to Better Work.

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