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From Positive Attitude to Positive Management?
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“In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision.” – Dalai Lama
Today, the world is becoming global and volatile witnessing tremendous shifts in paradigms at all levels. Digitalization shortened the distances between cultures and made it an international workplace on a daily basis. Recruiters and headhunters are emphasizing more on positive mindset managers or leaders able to fit easily in and be part of a new vision. Interpersonal competencies, soft skills, the quality of contacts, the capacity to lead and inspire teams have become a great debate and the FOCUS of many institutions, organizations and even universities. It is why they all need more leaders and better leaders who are able to play a determinant role and can leave their footprints all based on a positive attitude contributing to a positive management.
There is a great correlation between a positive attitude in the workplace and a positive management. Let’s first define what positive management is all about. In the “100 golden rules of positive management” by Magali Mounier and Solenne Roland, positive management is defined as a performing management based on the Human. Positive and happy management involve the team in everything to be able to develop the feeling of belonging and the spirit of collaboration, so that each of your collaborators asks the question “how can I contribute? Rather than “what do I gain”.
Positive management is based on mutual respect, cares about the team, builds trust and long lasting relationships. It does not avoid difficult situations or complex subjects as it knows exactly how to handle them based on encouragements and team support. Positive management does not fear great talents as it aims to empower and provide them with the tools to achieve their goals.
There are many other ways to achieve a positive management and the results proved to be very rewarding, but the basic element to start with is to embrace a positive attitude on a daily basis independently of the challenges. Embracing a positive attitude is not enough unless it is visible and beneficial to the team working with you. Being positive is nothing to do with external factors to your life as it should come from INSIDE. Once reached from inside, we don’t need to spread it as everyone will be able to feel it; it will be enough to inspire, motivate people around you. In the same book, according to neuroscience studies, a brain in positive mode is more productive by 31% than in neutral or stressed mode and sales of positive and optimistic managers can increase by 37%.
This “new approach” has been inspired from education and positive psychology and underlines quality of work, team respect, involvement, and optimism. It focuses more on encouragement that lead to great realizations than on failures and professional sanctions.
Some of you may be thinking already that this approach is like a cock-and-bull story especially nowadays; others may think that it will remain a dream that will never come true despite the efforts going on to implement this new vision. To me there is nothing new and exceptional about positive management as it is simply an AWAKENING of Human rights and values. This is how we need to treat people if we would like to be treated equally. But the challenge is not to review the concept of leadership or to set up new vision of key principles of positive management, but to find people who embrace already such values and feel able to adhere easily. In this case, we simply need to hire Humans before searching for leadership qualities and traits. Today there are a variety of tests of qualifications during the hiring process; we may need to add a new test relevant to spot the Humans from the non humans. The issue sometimes is with the recruiters, decision makers and stakeholders’ themselves as they expect such attributes in the workplace while they are unable to adopt them. They are searching for positive leaders while their strategies lack transparency and credibility. They would like to hire committed people when their sole focus is getting profit and great results. They are adopting horizontal structures that aim initially empowerment and professional evolvement while the only motivation behind is economic and marketing short cuts.
The best act of management is when there is coherence between our beliefs and acts; our words and actions independently of the terminology used. This is the only way we can build trust around us. If trust is built, respect and loyalty are returned.
With a positive management or Human based management, there are absolutely great benefits when embracing them. Three main aspects to consider:
1. Create a happy work place
Obviously, any happy act and word will generate happy interactions and then great results, is not that simple? According to a research by the university Harvard: a happy employee is two times less ill, six times less absent, nine times more loyal and 55% more creative. By promoting happiness at work, spontaneous applications have increased by 500% per year, voluntary departures have decreased by 75%, and economic indicators have improved.
To create a positive environment, you have to be positive first and lead by example. To be positive does not mean that you have to be zero challenges and constraints; it is simply the ability to use these challenges to learn and evolve.
“A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you.” – Joyce Meyer
2. Contribute to a healthy environment
We all witnessed cases of unhealthy workplaces that lead to stress, anxiety and even suicide in a very well established corporations. In such environments, we often favor sanctions on open communication and constructive feedbacks. Many neurosciences studies proved that by understanding situations positively, you influence the quality of work and quality of hormones released by your brain that have a direct impact on your immune defenses and your health. This optimistic management protects you more from the harmful effects of stress and makes you more efficient.
How many of you are able to keep calm when your objectives or bonuses are threatened? How many of you are able to create a healthy environment? If you do, make sure to know how to maintain it, this is what positive management is also about.
3. More engagement from the team
To attain more engagement from the team, we need to empower and develop the existing talents for long lasting collaborations. The Boston consulting group in a report published in March 2016 for the world economic forum, emphasizes the supremacy of socio-emotional skills on technical skills. It is for this reason; many companies and institutions will have to develop talents and new competencies if they seek to handle the challenges of tomorrow specifically in such global digitalized world. The ten key competencies agreed on are: critical thinking and the capacity to handle complex problems, creativity, the capacity to communicate effectively, the capacity to collaborate, curiosity, new initiatives, perseverance, adaptability, leadership and social and cultural openness.
To go through this new vision, make sure to water the right flowers, not the ones that consider themselves mature enough and shining already as they may not know the value of being hungry and humble.
“When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.” William Arthur Ward
Positive management is not a magic solution in the workplace; it is not a myth neither but a reality that we need to work hard on it and make it happen depending on our motivations. I believed in positive management before reading about it. The reason is simple is that we are all Humans and we all expect human considerations based on HUMAN values. Whatever the terminology you believe in or apply, understanding of the very most basic human values and rights are the cornerstone of any successful management; without awareness, we will be like a playing thing of the winds, or a vision without a direction.
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