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Opinion: 7 ways to master attitudes to champion positive change

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Maintaining a positive attitude isn’t just about feeling good – it’s a pivotal component that can radically influence the success and resilience of leaders and their teams.

How you approach challenges, interpersonal dynamics and daily tasks as a professional sets the tone for your team and your success. Clearly, our attitude is less about circumstances and more about choice. You can choose to lead with positivity, influence change and see the potential in every situation. With this mindset, you can champion positive change and create a workplace culture that thrives on productivity and success. It isn’t easy, but it’s achievable.

Here are seven ways to master your attitude and inspire change within and around you.

  1. Embrace constructive feedback and abandon criticism. Criticism can be a tool for growth or a weapon that undermines morale. The difference lies in its delivery and intent. Transform criticism into constructive feedback, which is more about opening pathways for improvement than pointing fingers. This encourages a learning mindset within your team and supports continual development.
  2. Own your decisions and results. As a leader, when outcomes fall short of expectations, it’s tempting to attribute these shortcomings to external factors. However, cultivating a responsible standpoint where you own up to your lapses instills confidence and accountability within your team. Taking ownership, rather than asserting victimhood, empowers your team to strive for better performance without hiding behind excuses.
  3. Minimalize job monotony. Every role has its mundane aspects, but dwelling on tediousness is counterproductive. Finding or creating meaning and engagement in all tasks is essential. Challenge yourself and your team to see value in routine work and view it as the foundation for excellence.
  4. Break free from mental ruts. When caught in a rut, get out by taking decisive action to shift your perspective. Seek out mentorship, attend a workshop or engage in a team brainstorming session to spark creativity and push out of stagnant thinking.
  5. Convert pessimism to optimism. Pessimism can be contagious, but so can optimism. For example, one CEO I knew unintentionally created a pessimistic company culture. Doubts and negative apprehensions clouded each team discussion and decision. When this CEO began to shift her perspective willfully, the results were tangible. Her leadership team became more collaborative, innovative and performance driven. Encourage your team to reframe challenges as opportunities and celebrate small successes.
  6. Be a conduit of change. In a fast-paced business environment, embrace change, advocate for it and lead by example. Resistors to change can cripple a team’s progress, but it can turn into a competitive advantage.
  7. Discover positivity in adversity. A manager from a Fortune 500 company invited me to address his high-performance sales team. He acknowledged the prevalent negativity within the team and that it stemmed from a few team members who held a detrimental attitude. After the training, the manager took direct and constructive steps to tackle the issue head-on. Fortunately, the individuals changed positively – and it improved the team’s overall attitude.

Adversity and disappointment are plentiful, but so are opportunities for growth and triumph. As a professional, it’s crucial to lead by example in seeing – and seizing – the positives from what seems to be a tide of negatives. Doing so will cultivate a resilient, positive culture that seeks solutions rather than fretting over challenges.

Leaders and professionals are the custodians of workplace culture, attitudes and performance.

Sow the seeds of optimism, responsibility and adaptability in your team. See them grow into success and satisfaction for everyone involved.

Mark Holmes is a consultant, professional speaker and author of “Selling to ELON! Understand, Communicate and Sell to Unique Personality Types,” and he’s president of Springfield-based Consultant Board Inc. and He can be reached at


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