Friday, 4 November 2011

Being Optimistic

As a leader, do you demonstrate optimism?

Within the literature on leadership, there are many references to the significance of leaders demonstrating optimism.  As leaders, this is sometimes really difficult to do.  We face challenging situations.  We see results that simply are not good enough.  We see work practices that are not effective.  We see many things that can annoy, frustrate, or even anger us.  There are ways for us to deal with these situations......and publicly is not one of them. 

Demonstrating optimism is a way that you communicate that you believe the work you are doing is important.  You believe the work your staff is doing is important.  You believe everyone has or can develop the skills to do a great job.  You believe great results are achievable.  In other words, you have great faith in those whom you lead.

How do you demonstrate optimism?  You can't fake it.  If you don't believe in the importance of the work you are doing and you don't believe in your staff, you can't pretend.  They'll see through it easily.  You may need to shift some of your own thinking to a more positive perspective.  When you are in the workplace, are you seeing what's not there (the 'witch hunt' perspective) or do you see what's there and potentially there (the 'treasure hunt' perspective).  Draw on your observations from the 'treasure hunt' to build your own sense of optimism about your workplace.  Remember, no one ever does a great job when they feel that their leader doesn't believe in them. 

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