Management Success Series Tip #7: The Positive Attitude Creates More Productivity

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All things being equal, a manager who maintains a positive attitude, even in times of adversity, will get more out of their team than the manager who casts a shadow of negativity.  In Tip #5, integrity was discussed as the standard to which good managers hold themselves. The next tip is often a byproduct of integrity – a positive, can-do attitude.

Again, having a positive attitude may sound like an obvious thing that you as a manager need to uphold.  But let’s be honest, your day is stressful, you’re constantly interrupted and sometimes things don’t work out your way no matter how hard you try.  In truth, there are a number of reasons why you can have a bad day.  You’re human, remember?  I once took on a management role to turn around an organization.  Upon my arrival, it was always bad news.  Not enough people to do this.  Too long to do that.  Not enough budget to even considering going there.  No one ever listens to us.  When it’s always bad news, everything seems impossible.

Remember that employees respond to you as a leader because you are in a position of authority.  Having a positive attitude is infectious.  Several times in the Management Success Series we mention that the way employees relate to you is the primary driver in how much you get from them.  As a manager, your own positive attitude will motivate and energize your employees to do more and push harder.  People want to be around you when you have a good attitude and will remain engaged when you show them you can handle bad news.   Maintaining optimism is even more powerful on those tough days.  Sure, you’re unhappy that your budget got cut, or your proposal was rejected.  But when your employees know you’re having a rough day and still see your can-do attitude, you send a message:   setbacks will occur, but you move on and continue to drive for success.

Consider the opposite.  Imagine working for a boss who is perpetually negative and who expresses frustration throughout the day.  How will employees respond?  How motivated would you be when he or she is constantly bringing you and your peers down?  While positive attitudes are infectious, negative attitudes are toxic.  Further, the negativity will demotivate employees and reduce productivity.

Again, we are all human and we have bad days.  The key as a manager, though, is to find an outlet that is not around your employees.  Maybe you vent to a peer in another department.  Perhaps you step out for lunch to clear your head.  Step outside to make a phone call to get some fresh air. The point is simple: find an outlet for your frustration so that you can maintain a positive mindset when around your employees.  The positive attitude throughout the ups and downs will help keep the energy and enthusiasm up on your team, and will ultimately increase productivity.

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