The power of positive thinking in business

Late businessman and philanthropist William Clement Stone once said: “Like success, failure is many things to many people. With positive mental attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, and a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order to prepare to try again.”

What Stone meant in saying such, is that negative experiences can ultimately be important opportunities for reflection and growth - provided that the person facing them is willing to adopt an attitude of positivity.

 

While the above quote demonstrates that positive thinking being linked to success is by no means a new notion; it is one that has certainly picked up momentum in recent years, with self-help books like Rhonda Byrne’s ‘The Secret’ and Esther and Jerry Hicks’ ‘Money and the Law of Attraction’ logging best-seller status.

 

While some of the views purported in these books are arguably far-fetched, there is no doubt that their underlying message – that positive thought leads to positive effect – holds at least some credence, particularly in the context of business.

 

In fact, several studies have found that when business owners incorporate positive thinking techniques into their day-to-day management that they not only improve sales figures and foster employee loyalty, but also have better outlooks on business challenges and solve problems more effectively.

 

Here are some tips for maintaining a positive mindset:

 

Implement a ‘no complaining’ rule: Institute a positive, problem-solving attitude within your business by prohibiting unconstructive and unnecessary complaining - not just with your employees, but yourself as well.

 

Instead, aim to turn areas for complaint into opportunities for improvement. For example, if an employee comes to you complaining that they are overloaded with work; sit down with them and ask them to propose an appropriate solution.

 

See, it is important to recognise that the rule should not prohibit complaining altogether because as an employer you need to be receptive and responsive to employee concerns. What the rule should prohibit - however, is mindless complaining that lacks impetus for improvement or resolution.

 

Display gratitude: Try to regularly practice gratitude excersises, both by yourself and with your employees. Ask yourself: What and who am I grateful for in my life? This will likely increase your happiness, energy levels and relaxation.

 

By the same token, tell your employees when you appreciate their actions. This will make them feel happy, appreciated and motivated, and thus more likely to work productively for the benefit of your business.

 

Practice thought awareness: In most cases negative thoughts enter our consciousness without us even realising, working to deflate our motivation and hamper our abilities to think productively. However, through consciously making an effort to become aware of your thoughts, you can put yourself in a better position to counter negativity and manage your own thought processes towards success.

 

For example, when at work, take a moment every two hours to analyse your own thoughts. Try to determine whether your thoughts are positive or negative, and if your thoughts are the latter try to reframe them is positive terms.

 

Use positive self-reinforcement: Encourage yourself by repeating short and focused positive affirmations on a regular basis. For example, if you find yourself stressed out about a particular issue tell yourself: “I am a smart, capable business owner who is more than capable of coming up with effective solutions.”

 

You should repeat these affirmations to yourself internally and externally on a regular basis in order to constantly reinforce the thoughts and normalise them within your psyche.

Posted by George Tarbey on 04/07/2012 at 1:41 PM | Categories:

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