At ProVantage, we believe having optimism toward your work and teammates can help build team chemistry and improve work quality. Not only for yourself but for those working alongside you.

Being optimistic directly correlates to many of our Core Values. Maintaining a positive mindset, you will work with a Spirit of Excellence, have a We Before Me attitude, and give Grace Through Generosity in everything you do.

The study, “Employee Engagement Is Less Dependent on Managers Than You Think,” surveyed 11,308 employees about their inspiration at work. According to the study, having certain mindsets, such as optimism, increase engagement and happiness at work. Even more than having a great manager.

Unfortunately, based on that study, only 13% of people have a high level of optimism. Nearly 33% have low or moderately low optimism. This matters because people with high optimism levels are far more inspired to give their best effort at work.

Optimism is one of the 18 outlooks that can greatly increase career satisfaction, inspiration, and employee engagement. And yes, you can develop more optimism.

Below is a quick exercise to help increase your optimism:

Step 1: Increase your optimism by eliminating negative language from your speech and emails.

Optimism — or a lack thereof — often gets expressed in our intuitive thinking, which tends to leak out in words we use, especially in less formal settings like emails.

If you can cease and reframe negative language in that context, it creates a more optimistic mindset.

The most commonly used negative words in business emails include: bad, canceled, challenges, complaint, concern, conflict, difficult, error, fail, and impossible.

Step 2: Identify a few recent emails you wish you hadn't sent.

We’ve all sent emails where we got poor responses, angry replies flew back and forth, and maybe we even had to pick up the phone to resolve the issue.

Often, the root of email blow-ups is negative language. Look at those emails you wish you hadn’t sent and find those negatively-charged words.

Step 3: Once you've found those emails and identified the words, rewrite the email and make your point without negative language.

Even though you’re not resending the email, it’s a critical skill to learn to communicate with more positive framing.

For example, imagine I wrote an email that said, “It’s going to be impossible for us to make this deadline if we don’t hit this new milestone.” You should rewrite that email, communicating that we are falling behind on the deadline without using the word “impossible?”

Instead, you could say: “Here are the steps we need to achieve to meet this deadline.” Or “Can we assess where we’re at on the deadline and ensure we’re on the same page?”

These examples address the deadline but are doing so without negatively-charged language like “impossible,” which can damage optimism.

This exercise takes a bit of work, but it’s necessary to break our use of that pessimistic language so we can begin developing a more optimistic flow of automatic thoughts.

Having more optimism won’t just improve your career satisfaction. Optimism can also help reduce a person’s stress and increase longevity, which, in turn, leads to lower levels of worry and anxiety. These are benefits that every one of us could use.

If you’d like to read more of our blog posts, click the link below!

Originally written by Mark Murphy

Edited by Houston Hawley, Vice President of Operations


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