Think Positive. Really?

My mother-in-law was a nurse and painted china after she retired.  So we have these beautiful china tchotchkes all over our house that say “Think Positive” on the underside.

I know that her intention was pure, so I love her everlasting notes to us.

But in the professional world, I struggle with messages that seem to tell us to simply Think Positive.

I resist any message that asks us to push negative feelings aside, without consideration of our frustrations and hurt feelings.  Forced and hollow positive behaviors rarely benefit anyone in the long term.

Take note: Even in positive psychology – we are not expected to swallow or deny our frustrations and hurt feelings.

The science acknowledges that honest feelings always need to be heard, along with other ingredients. 

Positive psychology

So how do we create a positive workplace that is important for the well-being of patients and nurses?

Lessons learned from positive psychology:

  1. Trying to overcome organizational and personal weaknesses and negativity by force is not the way to go. 
  2. The solution lies in using 3 things: 
    •  Yes to Positivity, and add
    • Inquiry and 
    • Focus

Daily leadership per positive psychology

  • Focus.  Are we trying to push others into our thoughts and ways, or are we focusing on others opinions and needs?
  • Inquiry.  Ask others what they think …. . Ask and Listen 
    • Not as an opportunity to counter and convince them to our way of thinking, but to honor the person’s role and opinions in our mutual work.
    • In this inquiry, our purpose is to hear the positive and the negative feelings and opinions
  • Relationships.  Listen to this measurement:

Relationships work well only when there are more than 5 positive interactions for every negative encounter.  

  • Yes, be an optimist!
    • It’s our role to deal with problems by finding mutually satisfying solutions.
    • Problems are short-term pieces of a bigger picture.
    • Problems are a result of honest mistakes, not because of bad people.
    • Openly appreciate others’ contributions.
    • Continually search for others’ strengths and make them known.
    • Be a positive charge of energy everyday for self and others.

Here’s to a Happy Faces,  as long as they’ve been heard.

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