What do coaches know about positivity at work? Lots. Tackling tough challenges in the workplace with positivity can sometimes seem like an insurmountable task.
With all of the increasing demands to do more with less…faster, it’s easy to get discouraged, not to mention overloaded and exhausted. Dealing with difficult co-workers, clients and bosses can take its toll too. Let’s face it, you’re not usually the only one feeling stress when the stakes are high and emotions are running wild.
Coaches know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you can actually get beyond all that negativity and convert your frustrations into positive outcomes. It will take some effort, but it can be done.
Coaches are great examples of positivity. My coaching colleagues are some of the most optimistic people I know. Probably because they get a lot of practice turning mountains into molehills with their clients (instead of molehills into mountains).
When coaches work with supervisors and managers who are struggling with dysfunctional teams or quarterly goals that seem miles out of reach, they gain keen insights into what works and what doesn’t. When coaching front-liners coaches are a critical source of encouragement, helping their clients achieve important career goals.
So, what’s their secret to maintaining a positive outlook?
Great news! There really is no secret.
But, there are some important core principles that are woven into the philosophy of coaching that can help you develop your own abundance of positivity:
Own responsibility for your life’s outcomes
One of the most important guiding principles of coaching is that you are in charge of your life. When you accept that, it will be easier for you to move on from negative experiences. On the flip side, you can take all the credit for the positives!
- Knowing that you’re in charge helps you to make adjustments. Let’s say you are sitting in a weekly meeting and become aware that the situation is going sideways, developing into something negative. What you do and say can make a pivotal difference in whether or not the agenda de-rails. Your actions can result in a complete turnaround for the better.
- When you take responsibility for your own actions and contributions, rather than blaming others, it’s easier to move on. You accept what happens, learn the lesson, and apply it to future scenarios.
It’s important to trust your own instincts, thoughts, and ideas. A well-trained coach can be your confidential thinking partner, but nobody knows the solutions to your challenges like you do. A professional coach will not give you advice or tell you what to do. They’ll help you clarify your thinking and encourage you to listen to your own inner voice (you’ll hear it if you listen, honest). By trusting your gut, you’ll be able to confidently make wise choices. And, when you do, your positivity will soar.
- The decisions and choices that you make independently are the ones that have the greatest impact. When you’re ready to own that, you’ll be able to look at your work life more positively.
- Trusting yourself may take time. You probably look first at what others may think. But at the end of the day, it’s your life. The only opinion that matters regarding your life is yours!
Eliminate the Feeling of Defeat
An essential element of positive living is to avoid feeling defeated. Even in the most undesirable circumstances, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. When you start exercising your ability to rise above challenges, you’ll find it easier to maintain a positive outlook.
- Unfavourable outcomes aren’t meant to discourage you. They’re meant to help you rise and make it through obstacles!
- A defeated person is usually out of options. However, that’s the furthest thing from the truth with you. As long as you’re alive, you’ll have many more opportunities to make things right.
Sometimes setting examples for others can help you train yourself. Seek opportunities to empower others, especially if you are in a leadership role. You are uniquely positioned to help your direct reports and those on your leadership teams remain positive and confident despite current organizational trials. You may find yourself taking those lessons and applying them to your own outlook!
- Take some time to think about the members of your team. Look objectively at their challenges and how they’ve handled them. Are they about to give up? What can you do to assist them in staying strong and positive?
- Making the decision to help others gives you the perfect opportunity to see the benefits of positive thinking.
Coaches know how to help others make the most of the life they have. In the process, they have the benefit of applying these lessons in their own lives.
At the end of the day, that’s exactly how you’ll be able to change your mindset. Work with what you have as if it’s the only thing you’ll ever have. You’ll be surprised at how easily you turn things around!
As a coach, I’m always looking for fantastic resources that I can recommend to my clients (and my coaching colleagues). Here are a few that I have used myself and I just love! Enjoy!!
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Author: Cathy Shaughnessy
Cathy Shaughnessy is a PRISM award-winning ICF Master Certified Coach and author of the book series The Really Competent Coach. Cathy coaches senior leaders, mentors credentialed coaches, trains fledgeling coaches and helps organizations build strong coaching cultures. Cathy recommends lots of great tools for coaches. You can find them here.