Let’s start by talking about the elephant in the room:
There are a lot of misconceptions about positivity.
I know this first-hand because long before becoming a life and business strategist, I created a global online community called Positivity Nation; for several years, my online persona was ‘Positivity Lady’.
During this time, I routinely encountered people who had skewed perceptions and expectations around the topic of positivity. To be sure we are on the same page, I want to take a moment to talk about what positivity is and isn’t before sharing practical steps for infusing more of it into your business relationships.
Positivity isn’t perfection. The most positive person in the world is still going to experience grumpy moments, lose their patience occasionally… and even have a bad day. Being positive does mean giving our best, being kind and showing respect but it also means extending ourselves - and others - a little grace when we falter.
Positivity isn’t pretend. A syrupy sweet disposition accompanied by a permanent smile… acting as if all is right in your world all the time … is not being positive, it’s being fake. Positivity is being real, looking at trouble spots and calling them out for what they are in a thoughtful way… not whitewashing them but also not making them out to be worse than they are.
Positivity isn’t problem-free. Positivity isn’t a life defined by sunshine, rainbows, unicorns and fairy dust. We are all human. We will all encounter challenges, failures, and loss at some point. Positivity isn’t hiding from those moments but it is looking for seeds of hope and kernels of possibility amongst the hardships.
Positivity isn’t reserved for exuberant, energetic extroverts. Many times, positivity is identified as trait belonging to the high-energy, outgoing person but in truth, each of us gets to choose to bring positivity to our relationships. It’s equally available and effective for even the most introverted amongst us.
Now that you have a clearer idea of what positivity is and isn’t, you can apply that knowledge to these five practical steps to help you add more of it to your business relationships.
Engage in CONVERSATION. Skip the small talk and instead invest time in a meaningful conversation. Be interested, ask questions then listen more than you talk.
Strive for CONNECTION. Be genuinely interested in learning about what’s important to the other person… what makes them ‘tick’. Don’t just ‘show up’ when you want or need something or have something to sell. Focus on the individual and building the relationship.
Look for reasons to CELEBRATE. Take time to recognize the accomplishments and significant events of others. Find out what’s new and good in their business and life. It doesn’t have to be a formal award or milestone. Maybe it’s launching a new product line or hiring an assistant or maybe their daughter recently graduated from college. Be observant. Watch for press releases. Visit their website. Look for them in the news. Pay attention to ‘water cooler’ conversations. Never miss an opportunity to celebrate.
CHAMPION others. Long after your first interaction has passed, continue to be a supporter. As Dale Carnegie would say, “Give them a fine reputation to live up to!” Go out of your way to shine a light on the good things others are doing… the quality products, programs, and services they provide and the noteworthy contributions they are making.
COLLABORATE regularly. Lead the way and look for opportunities to create win-win-win situations. Be open to possibilities, be creative, and invite others in. Instead of focusing on rising alone, find ways to work together to create positive outcomes for each others businesses as well as for your clients and communities.
When we do these things, the ripple effect will radiate through our business and seep into all our interactions… from the grocery store visit to the town hall meeting and all the places we visit in between.
My call to action for you is this: Bring five percent more positivity to your business. (Five percent might not seem like much, but as I share in my book, Small Steps Big Impact: A Year of Simple Actions to Transform your Life, small is not insignificant.)
The little changes you make will have a cumulative effect. Be consistent and you’ll quickly see how adding positivity in practical ways becomes a sturdy foundation to support strong, business enhancing relationships.
I help women solopreneurs grow their impact and increase their bottom line
without losing their minds.