"Attitudes are contagious, are yours worth catching?" That is what one participant of our most recent training workshop contributed when we asked the group to come up with a list of service standards they would be willing to live by every day at their financial institution. There were many insightful and powerful service standards statements shared. The more we thought about it, the more we wanted to learn about the power of positive and negative attitudes in the workplace. As we dug in, we started to come across a whole lot of research pointing out how easy it is to be negative. One study in particular featured in The Journal of Abnormal Psychology stated that "the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones." We are more likely to quickly remember when someone did us wrong rather than a time when someone did us a favor and helped us out of a jam. This unlevel playing field is even evident in the English dictionary; the percentage of negative emotional words is 62% compared to that of positive words, which comes in at 32%. This is another reason why it is so important to be strive to be as positive as you can each day. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi further stated that, "When we aren't consumed with other thoughts, worrying is the brain's default position." Positivity is really an underdog when stacked up against all of these challenges.
In spite of the monopoly negative energy has, maintaining a positive attitude is well worth the extra effort for many reasons, some of which are:
- It's better for your mental health! The more you are able to mentally cope positively with work tasks the better it is on your brain.
- You have the opportunity to both inspire and motivate others.
- You will be more apt to turn challenges into untapped opportunitites by having the will to take them head on.
- You can be perceived as a leader (or great leader material) and be given more important responsibilities.
How do you transform your environment to be more positive?
One piece of advice to help combat negative attitudes is to encourage those who tend to think in a negative fashion to use different strategies when trying to solve a problem instead of just telling them to "think positively". Leaders of any team should make a point to celebrate and recognize staff for achieving small (but meaningful) victories on the way to achieving larger over-arching goals. Dwelling on what didn't work in the past can not bring about positive change. Recognize failures, discuss and learn from them, and move forward. If negative information needs to be shared with your team, deliver it first, then follow it with positive comments and feedback. A culture where mistakes are allowed, learned from and all become stronger as a result set themselves up for an environment where creative problem solving (both reactive and proactive) are commonplace. Maintaining a positive work environment takes a lot of work from every member of an organization regardless of his/her job description. It is a vital mindset that has to be worked on constantly and become a way of life in order to bring forth great results throughout an entire institution.
FrontLine Service Solutions can help you transform your sales and service culture dramatically. Our solutions are designed to make your customers/members raving fans of your institution who insist that their friends and family bring their business to you! For more information about our sales solutions and service solutions, please contact us today!