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Posts Tagged ‘optimism’

You know these people: the ones that seemingly always have a cloud over their heads; they look at everything with a glass-half-empty perspective; they are chronic complainers known to rarely have a nice thing to say about anything.  Often, these people are not even aware of their own negative attitudes because thinking negatively has become a way of life.  Help zap that negativity and turn those frowns upside-down.  Here are a few tips you can use to foster a more optimistic, positive environment when faced with a “Debbie Downer”:

  • Model positive behavior. Your mood and your behaviors are watched and interpreted by everyone around you. Be a good role model, maintaining your composure and a positive attitude that’s authentic.
  • Search out and identify the positives.  Find that silver lining in the cloud! We have an amazing ability to construct our inner world and outlook, to use self-talk to either build ourselves up, or tear ourselves down. Give yourself permission to reframe your thoughts, to focus on the opportunities and positives, and not the drawbacks and negative consequences.  Help the people around you focus on the 90% that we still have rather than the 10% we have lost. See bad events as setbacks, transitory not permanent, and focus on what you can do to learn and grow from it.
  • Provide positive recognition. One of the most powerful gifts you can give someone is to publicly share their good work and victories. This underscores your belief in their potential, and suddenly they are capable of accomplishing so much more, which in turn reaps rewards in productivity.
  • Refuse to fall into the negativity trap yourself.  When there is negativity and distractions around you, it is very important that you keep your eyes focused on the road ahead, on the things that you can do and control. Keep that optimistic attitude.
  • Brainstorm with your team to discover creative ways to make the work environment more positive and pleasant. Trying new things keeps people motivated and stimulates the mind when problem solving. Innovative thinking always has a few stumbling blocks, so maintaining a safe, non-judgmental environment to express and experiment in is very important to employee morale.

We all know that we prefer to work with and interact with positive people. Be that positive person in your circle of friends both personally and professionally. Whether your clients, co-workers, or even your own family or circle of friends, help zap the negativity around you with a positive, cooperative attitude.

Thanks and have a great week!

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You know these people: the ones that seemingly always have a cloud over their heads; they look at everything with a glass-half-empty perspective; they are chronic complainers known to rarely have a nice thing to say about anything.  Often, these people are not even aware of their own negative attitudes because thinking negatively has become a way of life.  Help zap that negativity and turn those frowns upside-down.  Here are a few tips you can try to foster a more optimistic, positive environment when faced with a “Debbie Downer”:

  • Model positive behavior. Your mood and your behaviors are watched and interpreted by everyone around you. Be a good role model, maintaining your composure and a positive attitude that’s authentic.
  • Search out and identify the positives.  Find that silver lining in the cloud! We have an amazing ability to construct our inner world and outlook, to use self-talk to either build ourselves up, or tear ourselves down. Give yourself permission to reframe your thoughts, to focus on the opportunities and positives, and not the drawbacks and negative consequences.  Help the people around you focus on the 90% that we still have rather than the 10% we have lost. See bad events as setbacks, transitory not permanent, and focus on what you can do to learn and grow from it.
  • Provide positive recognition. One of the most powerful gifts you can give someone is to publicly share their good work and victories. This underscores your belief in their potential, and suddenly they are capable of accomplishing so much more, which in turn reaps rewards in productivity.
  • Refuse to fall into the negativity trap yourself.  When there is negativity and distractions around you, it is very important that you keep your eyes focused on the road ahead, on the things that you can do and control. Keep that optimistic attitude.
  • Brainstorm with your team to discover creative ways to make the work environment more positive and pleasant. Trying new things keeps people motivated and stimulates the mind when problem solving. Innovative thinking always has a few stumbling blocks, so maintaining a safe, non-judgmental environment to express and experiment in is very important to employee morale.

Whether your clients, co-workers, or even your own family or circle of friends, help zap the negativity around you with a positive, cooperative attitude.

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I am a big fan of reading books and articles on leadership and the psychology behind what drives people to succeed. I’d like to share an article I read via Yahoo.com’s Small Business Advisor website, offering some valuable gems of advice: 9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People.  Here’s the list; the article offers full descriptions of each point:

1. Time doesn’t fill me. I fill time.

2. The people around me are the people I chose. Successful people are naturally drawn to successful people.

3. I have never paid my dues. Dues aren’t paid, past tense. Dues get paid, each and every day.

4. Experience is irrelevant. Accomplishments are everything.

5. Failure is something I accomplish; it doesn’t just happen to me.

6. Volunteers always win.

7. As long as I’m paid well, it’s all good.

8. People who pay me always have the right to tell me what to do.

9. The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland… full of opportunity.

After reading this list, it occurred to me that there is an underlying personality trait held by those who can embrace such ideals… having a great attitude.  It’s about keeping a positive outlook on things, even when in tough situations.  Enthusiasm is infectious, and a smile and a pleasant attitude can work wonders.  Successful people perpetually keep in mind that life is good.  Whether with your clients, co-workers, or even your own family or circle of friends, demonstrating a positive, cooperative attitude will help you reach your own personal pinnacle of success.

Have a great week.

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“There are two kinds of people.  Those who see opportunity and see problems, and those who see problems and see opportunity.”

-Winston Churchill

 

With a continuous stream of mixed economic news and often-frustrating messages coming out of Washington, it is very easy to get caught up in thinking that the future is bleak.  Couple that with the stress of work, the daily struggle of balancing home life with your job, bills, college tuition, caring for elderly parents, or anything else that is weighing on you, well, it can be just as easy to believe there is little you can do to improve your circumstances.  Thus, you withdraw, turning a little sour, sharing this negativity with your colleagues as you complain to them at the water cooler.  It can be difficult to stay optimistic all the time, right?

 

STOP.  Take a breath.  All is going to be okay.  It’s fine to unload with your colleagues on occasion, but remember that – whether you realize it or not – you are leading by example.  “Optimistic leadership” is not about seeing the world through rose colored glasses, but as Winston Churchill refers to by his famous quote, optimism will inspire a sense of hopefulness and confidence that is required to take full advantage of the opportunities that do exist.  Research has confirmed that those who are able to find an optimistic outlook will not only be more successful, they will also live longer, be healthier and happier.

 

I recently read this “Top 10 Ways to Become More Optimistic” list on website for leadership which resonated with me.  Please take the time to read these points.  I think it will help reshape any negative attitudes you might be harboring right now:

 

1. Seek positive perspectives and evidence.  Unfortunately most of what is being reported today has a pessimistic tone, so to build a more balanced view, you need to look for the positive signs.   In an economic downturn, pessimists may be more right but optimists will see more opportunity and actually accomplish more.

 

2. Practice possibility thinking.  We have an amazing ability to construct our inner world and outlook, to use self talk to either build ourselves up, or tear ourselves down.  Give yourself permission to reframe your thoughts, to focus on the opportunities not the negative consequences – the 90% that we still have rather than the 10% we have lost.  See bad events as setbacks, transitory not permanent and focus on what you can do to energize and build growth.

 

3. Build a compelling vision that inspires.  Take the time to develop a deep sense of mission and purpose, to get really clear about what you want for our firm and the unique value you can provide.  Another adage to consider, “The best way to predict the future is to create it”.

 

4. Surround yourself with positive people.  Optimism is a learned habit, and it is contagious.  Seek out people who have a positive outlook.  You are only as good as the company you keep.

 

5. Be aware of the “shadow” you cast.  As a leader everything you do impacts those around you.  Your mood and your behaviors are watched and interpreted by everyone around you.  Be a good role model, maintaining your composure and a positive attitude – that’s authentic.

 

6. Encourage open dialog.  Being positive and open will draw people towards you.  Staying focused on understanding and listening is especially important with others who don’t feel so optimistic.  Optimism or pessimism is not about the reality of the situation.  You need to remain open to fully understand alternative perspectives and be able to lead people to a more positive future.

 

7. Build resilience through wellness.  Optimists are more resilient to stress and enjoy better health.  Resilience builds a mental toughness and an ability to bounce back from setbacks.  To build your resilience, you need to make purposeful choices to take care of your body, mind, and spirit.

 

8. Build personal mastery.  This begins with an honest assessment of your capabilities and a lifelong commitment to professional development.  Mastery will bring confidence and the capacity to succeed, creating more reason for optimism.

 

9. Believe in the capabilities of your team and organization.  One of the most powerful gifts you can give someone is to believe in their potential.  Suddenly they are capable of accomplishing so much more, which in turn gives you more to feel optimistic about.

 

10. Stay focused and track accomplishments.  When there is a lot of information and distractions it is very important that you keep your eyes focused on the road ahead, on the things that you can do and control.  Celebrating your victories along the way and knowing that although it may be a long road, you will get to your destination in the end.

 

Have a great and POSTIVE week!

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There has been much written about the economy recently. The markets have reflected very high volatility and are reacting to revised GDP for the first quarter to a meager 1.3% annualized rate, the obscene posturing of our leaders on the debt debate and most recently the concern over the European Debt.

 

As a CPA, we generally have a pretty good read on the economy, mostly because we are constantly speaking with clients and get real time feedback on how business activity is proceeding. In the first quarter of this year, it was apparent things were slowing; we had most clients telling us that first quarter of 2011 was less robust then the first quarter of 2010. Since 2010 wasn’t anything to get excited about, we were a little concerned. The press at the time, however, was that the economy was moving along and recovering from the recession and the markets were reacting appropriately with the Dow up 10.65% for the year, at its peak on May 2nd.

 

Conversely, we are generally hearing that business has rebounded and that revenues are back up in the second and third quarters of this year. So we are expecting that when the current economic activity is reported, that GDP will be up greater than the 1.3% extrapolated from the first quarter. This is contrary to what we are all hearing in the financial press these days, as the markets are jittery over the European debt and the lack of jobs.

 

I do think 2011 will reflect growth and small business will continue to sustain growing  profitability. However, growth will continue to be slow and we will not be able to add the jobs we need to overcome the job reduction in the government sector and pull ourselves fully out of the recession. Many of our fellow citizens will continue to suffer from the effects of high unemployment. 

 

The problem for our clients and business colleagues, however, is a lack of certainty and confidence. We all hear the abundance of negative rhetoric that goes on in the various news outlets and it is difficult to get a real grasp on where the economy is going over the next 24 months. Clearly, Mr. Bernanke was trying to help with this when he committed to not raise interest rates for two years.  We can only hope that our political leaders will follow suit and abandon similar rhetoric and instead come to reasonable compromises on spending and taxes to give us something to be optimistic about.

 

Bill

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