People who have a positive attitude towards their work as an influencer benefit greatly and, to be honest, are much more likely to get what they want. This works for a number of reasons:
- People with a positive disposition are more readily listened to.
- Many enjoy engaging with positive people, so doors fly open.
- Among ambitious people, those who are negative stand out awkwardly.
- Optimists focus on what can happen at the expense of what cannot. Whereas, pessimists focus on what cannot be done at the expense of what can.
- Being positive about what you are seeking to achieve makes people sit up and listen.
Before I continue, please note that I am not talking here about lots of arm waving, jumping up and down or pretending to be excessively happy and positive. I accept that is some people’s style and that is fine.
This is more about cultivating your inner attitude and allowing you to show that in your own natural way. Enthusiasm manifests itself in so many ways. I am talking about getting your thinking straight ― then you can leap into (authentic) positive action!
There are many approaches to shifting attitudes towards the positive and perhaps the best I have seen in recent times focuses on the positive only. Not ignoring the negative so much as leaving it to sit quietly in the background, instead of being obsessed about.
To get moving and focusing on the right things, I have a number of questions for you. Right up front I want to acknowledge credit for the inspiration behind these. They arise from the technique of Solutions Focused Coaching and were brought to my attention by David Wilson and Sandie Pinches.
Focusing on a particular influencing goal that you want to move forward, think about:
- What is working really well in this situation right now? You may have to think hard. Persevere. If you are stuck, begin with what is working well rather than really well. Or even, what is okay(ish). Get some help from your team or a close friend.
- Why are these things working really well? It may seem like a bit of an odd question, but make sure and spend time quietly reflecting on answering this question as fully as you can.
- What is your ideal state here? What would you really like to see happening? Don’t skip ahead, make sure and come up with some ideas about what you would like. This may be the stretch from what is working well to what would have to happen for you to judge it as working really well.
- What can you do today to move towards your ideal state? Go on, make a list of actions you can begin to take ― today!
- What support, help or resources would help you to make rapid progress towards your ideal state?
One of the most common problems when it comes to influence is not having a go ― assumed defeat. The questions above will take a little leap of faith and a little effort to go through the first time. When I first started to use these questions, it felt uncomfortable; yet, with persistence, I was staggered at the results. I hope you will be too.
Let me know how it goes.