The power of words. You’ll make someone’s day when you notice them. Just a few simple words of “I really like that new print you hung in your office, Rafael,” “I’ve noticed you’re a really good communicator, Kathy,” or “I appreciate how professional you are with our vendors, Tucker” always make people feel special just because you noticed and took the time to acknowledge them.
Did you know that we have anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day and roughly 80% of them are negative? On top of that, it has been found that negative thoughts can be physically draining because they produce corresponding chemicals that weaken the physiology. I think it’s easy to say, regardless of what industry or profession we work in, we all could use a little more positivity in our lives!
On top of the thousands of thoughts we have each day, research suggests that the average person hears between 20,000 and 30,000 words during a 24-hour period. Based on the percentage of our thoughts that are negative, I wonder how many negative words we hear and speak each day? Exposure to negative words and phrases can disrupt sleep, reduce appetite, increase anxiety and stress, and impact the ability to experience long-term happiness and satisfaction. Consider the ramifications of that in the workplace!
One way to cultivate a culture of positivity among your team? Start sharing kind words with those you work with! You can compliment them on something specific to their work or it can be a more general observation. Of course, be sure to keep any personal compliments appropriate for the workplace. Encourage your team to start sharing compliments and positive words, as well. Behavior is contagious and soon your office will be filled with words of encouragement versus words of negativity! Imagine the impact on morale and engagement!
This week, I challenge you to start being more intentional about spreading positivity at work through your words. Start paying closer attention to what those on your team are doing that you can compliment them on. Keep an eye out for opportunities to share a kind phrase. Monitor your own internal dialogue and turn off any negative self-talk. It may help to create a list of positive mantras that resonate with you and keep it posted in your office. When you need a dose of optimism, you’ll have a handy resource at your fingertips!
FUN FACT: Positive words, such as “peace” and “love,” can alter the expression of genes, strengthening areas in our frontal lobes and promoting the brain’s cognitive functioning. They propel the motivational centers of the brain into action and build resiliency.