Let’s face it, positive speech can be difficult to come by these days. Between stressful workdays, toxic comment threads online (never read the comments!) and heated social media arguments, encouraging words are often in short supply.
Believe it or not, the words we choose to use can have a direct effect on the way others perceive us and the way we perceive ourselves.
Think of it this way – if you keep repeating the words, “I can’t do it. It’s impossible!” to yourself and your coworkers, eventually this idea is going to stick. A short-sighted comment becomes refrain, and over time, negativity turns into inaction. What began as a one little pessimistic comment turned into a roadblock that shaped reality for the worse.
It’s time to stop the patterns of negative self-fulfilling prophecies and inject optimism into our wordays! Here are some easy ways to start peppering in more positive speech into your everyday:
Compliment Others More
Did your coworker do a great job on a project this week? Was someone’s lunch suggestion spot-on? Did your manager somehow effectively wrap up a meeting with 20 minutes to spare? No good moment is too small for a kind word! Instead of thinking of a compliment and letting it pass, make a commitment to verbalize your positive thoughts to those you work with on a more consistent basis.
Compliment Yourself More
You’re awesome. There, I said it – but don’t take it from me! You’re the expert on the subject of you, and you’ve got control of your inner monologue. There are times when that voice in our heads can be exceedingly negative, and that’s fine! Try and find moments to compliment yourself – even if it feels a little awkward – everyday, whether it’s out loud in front of a mirror or written in a daily journal.
Lead with the Positives
When a new idea is brought to the table, it’s only natural for your mind to start thinking through every element that’s been presented and start poking holes. However, you can resist the urge to vocalize these concerns right away! Instead, lead with your positive comments before digging into changes you’d like your coworker to consider.
Not Sorry, Thankful
If you’re up for a challenge, try counting the number of times you say “sorry” this week. While admitting when you’re in the wrong is important, unnecessary apologies can pile up if left unchecked. For example, instead of responding to negative criticism of your work by saying, “I’m sorry for doing that,” consider switching up your word choice to something like, “Thank you for pointing that out!” This small tweak flips the exchange from a deflating apology to enthusiastic appreciation of your colleague’s suggestion.
Have You Considered?
The word “no” is extremely powerful. In fact, it can stop ideas dead in their tracks. Sometimes, that’s necessary, but if that’s not your intention, consider softening the blow a bit. Swapping out a definitive “no” or a dismissive “don’t” for the more positive speech of, “I like it when” or “Have you considered?” can brighten the situation by framing it as an opening for more possibilities, rather than a dead end.
Put Positive In, Get Positive Out
If all you listen to, read and watch repeats a negative outlook, it’s only natural that these feelings might carry over into your daily speech patterns. If you catch yourself feeling down listening to the daily news on your way into work, consider cranking up your go-to feel good song for a positive boost. If scrolling through your social media feed before bed is getting you down, maybe switch to a book based on lighter subject matter when drifting off to sleep.
Perfect Isn’t Always the Path
If your goal is ever to complete something with 100 percent success right away and anything less is treated as failure, odds are you’ll be pretty disappointed. The best goals are built around small steps that can lead to a big win over time. Try breaking your larger goals into more bite-sized chunks. Once you’re hitting check marks for your more attainable goals, you’ll find yourself speaking about progress instead of focusing on perfection (or lack thereof).
Take it one step further: Have each member of your team share their biggest win for the week so far to kick off your morning meetings. You’ll be amazed at the positive energy that’s created in an instant!
What are your favorite ways to inject positive speech into the workday? Share the happy in the comments section below!