You Must Stay Positive, Part I

by Edward Henkler on March 26, 2013

Stay +++++


Whether you’re in what is euphemistically called transition (unemployment) or employed, it is essential that you always remain positive.  Perhaps even more important, you should also always feel that you control your destiny.  A friend once told me that she was very depressed.  Without going into the reasons, I can assure you that she had many excellent reasons to be depressed.  Knowing that she was trying to find a job, I asked her if she had ever been a hiring manager.  She admitted that she had.  My next question, “would you ever have hired someone who was depressed?” was met with a sheepish “no”.

Before I continue, it would be fair to wonder at this point if I see myself as a life coach rather than a business coach and consultant.  The answer is an emphatic “no” although I could see it as a future, “success only” adjunct business…but that’s a story for another day.  I am a firm believer that a company’s most valuable asset is their human capital.  My business unlocks that potential, building long term sustainability and reciprocity between the business own and his or her employees.  As you’ll see in my Thursday post this week, I believe fear is far more prevalent than positive attitudes and it will have many negative consequences in struggling businesses.

There are many reasons to remain positive and I would caution that you can’t turn your positive attitude off and on.  At a superficial level, you never know who might see you.  If it’s a potential employer, you may have lost your chance.  Furthermore, any good hiring manager and HR business partner will sense the underlying depression.  Some aspect of your body language will give you away, whether it is an artificial smile, a slump in your shoulders, or something else.

The second reason is far more important.  When you feel good about yourself (i.e. feel positive), you approach assignments with more energy and an underlying belief that you will succeed.  Anyone that follows sports knows that the top athletes have superb visualization skills.  As one example, the best golfers envision success and completely embrace it, before attempting a shot.  They visualize the flight of the ball and may imagine the ball landing in a one or two yard diameter circle.  You need to do the same thing at work, no matter what role you fulfill.  You must believe that you are the best at what you do.  It’s even better if you can find a way to link your passions to your work as that will unlock the discretionary performance that only arises when you truly enjoy what you’re doing.

Consider the following words of wisdom:

  • Jonathan Buckland: never complain about your troubles because 95% of the people don’t care and the other 5% are glad they happened to you.
  • Napoleon Hill: Many successful people have found opportunities in failure and adversity that they could not recognize in more favorable circumstances.
  • Ben Sweetland: Success is a journey, not a destination.

Remember, we can’t control our experiences but we can control our reactions to them.  There are two main strategies for maintaining hope in the face of difficulties:

  • Change the situation
  • Change how you feel about the situation

Did I mention…..Stay +++++


Thursday’s post will explain how and why to maintain a positive attitude when your company is reorganizing and downsizing.


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