The news abounds with tragedies, the headlines never cease to frighten us, and we are experiencing moments of tremendous pressure for companies. We all want 2021 to be a happy year, and this time with even more reason. So the duty of the leader is to be optimistic and, with it, to sow optimism around him.
Every individual comes prepared “as standard” to defend themselves against threats. The emotions of fear, anxiety, stress… allow you to activate fight or flight responses. In nature you need to protect yourself from other animals, including humans; That is why we remember traumatic moments better than pleasant experiences.
But it is in our capacities to modify thought, because the brain has enormous plasticity to make new neural connections and invoke the saving resilience. In the same way, we can train optimism and benefit from the enormous advantages it brings.
The writer Émile Zola put it very well: “I’m not an optimist, I want to be an optimist.” I agree with him that we must all work to avoid being overcome by discouragement, but it is the leaders who are obliged to incorporate optimism into the company culture through their example, since people need to be guided by someone who can see more far away, where hope dwells.
I’m not talking about the exaggerated optimism of the girl Pollyanna, but about working this emotion that it has a positive impact on everyone, on those around them and, I am sure, on the business world: although it is not the only guarantee of success, it is one of its main ingredients.
There are some daily gestures that help train the optimistic attitude:
Focus on the good things in each day. On an individual basis, it is good to reflect every night on the positive things that have happened to us, that call from a loved one, the delicious coffee, the confidence of a friend… or the luck of having woken up that morning; We are sure to find at least three comforting events. In the company, you have to start the meetings by asking people to tell something good that has happened to them since the last time, some professional or corporate achievement, the support of a colleague, that feedback repairman…
Encourage appreciation. It is not enough to recognize employees for business achievements, it is also necessary to highlight altruistic actions, volunteering, the results of corporate social policy, and disinterested collaboration. Valuing good deeds must be part of the corporate culture.
Give good news. In our company we have to strive to share the good news and be happy about it.
Take an interest in the worker and the person. Loving others generates good results. This means that we are interested in your well-being in the company and outside it. We must make it known that people are not only workers, but that they matter to us.
Be a source of inspiration. Optimism is a contagious emotion that improves our physical and emotional health. People need a leader whom they can trust because he acts with values, admits his mistakes, is humble, listens, is flexible, takes everyone into account and knows how to overcome adversity without falling into pessimism.
There is something else with which I feed my favorable vision of life: having plans. It’s little things like schedule activities that I like, buy tickets to a show, select a new book to read… I always have them on my agenda because I know that they contribute to my optimism.