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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Positivity -- Optimism that Fuels Emotional Influence -- Theme Thursday Season 4

On this Theme Thursday Season Four webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Positivity




Those especially talented in the Positivity theme have contagious enthusiasm.  They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.  This Relationship Building theme brings an emotional influence and the ability to set the tone of the room, team, or space.

If you have Positivity as a dominant theme, when you’re at your best, you are a multiplier of hope.  You notice what is good and aren’t afraid to celebrate it.  Your glass-half-full mentality can provide a resilience for others.  You may become someone others tend to lean on and rely upon to accentuate what is right rather than what could go wrong.  You bring value to your team by helping others become world-class versions of themselves, because every time you see them, celebrate them, and encourage them, they become more likely to understand and display the value within themselves. 

When times are difficult, ambiguous, or just plain scary, position yourself in front of people.  You can diffuse anxious energy through positive emotion.  This might be through grand gestures or simple whispers of, “You’ve got this. Keep going.” 

Do more celebrating.  If you have Positivity as a dominant theme, how can you find more ways to throw a party?  How many ways can you bring fun into your atmosphere?  For example, can you encourage others from a distance?  Can you do it without a budget?  Can you inspire and support without saying a word?  Flex your recognition muscle.  

If Positivity is high for you, it will be important for you to spend time with your own best encouragers.  You’ll be especially effected by the emotions that others let off out loud, so make sure you are around people who are comfortable providing encouragement or noticing positive aspects of life in general.  You will likely wear your own emotion on your sleeve.  You’re undeniably social, so make sure your social relationships leave you feeling able to share more of your positive emotion, not zapping it.

Worry less about being even-keeled and emotionally balanced.  You play lots of emotional notes. There might be times when you are up and times when you are down.  You do bring an element of drama, the ability to inject emotion into situations that are otherwise bland or underappreciated.  Because of this, don’t rely upon yourself to have an excellent poker face.

When you’re working with someone high in the CliftonStrengths theme of Positivity, expect warmth, excitement and energy.  It will likely be important for this person to both give and receive support, so anticipate this need and set them up to be able to offer it to others. Recognize him or her by celebrating the energy he or she creates.  Look beyond this person into the influence they have on others.  When he or she is missing, how does it feel to be in this group?  Notice the difference to the emotional environment and celebrate it.  When you are recognizing someone with dominant Positivity, you’re entering their territory, so do it often and do it well!  The way you offer praise and recognition will matter, and be noticed.  There is no hard and fast rule about how to recognize someone just because they have Positivity—it is worth asking this person and following through on the suggestions they offer. 

If you manage or lead someone with this theme, you can stretch them by helping them explore different dosages of Positivity.  This does not mean assigning them to cheer up lots of seemingly negative people—this will take a toll on your Positivity partner.  It might mean, however, helping them vary the ways they share energy.  Sometimes sharing energy does mean creating large parties and over-the-top standing ovations.  But it can just as often mean writing sincere thank-you notes, offering to show up for a friend, or being silently understanding without having to change the situation.  As this person’s leader, address the multiple angles he or she can provide energy, and debrief with them about where they are most comfortable and where they can get better.

Partner with someone high in Positivity by showing up for the “parties” they throw, and offering to reciprocate by “throwing parties back at them.”  These parties could be literal—getting the gang together for happy hour.  But they could also be just making meaningful eye contact or sharing fun stories.  A strong way to complement Positivity is to offer to change something for them that could be better.  Those with high Positivity might be quick to accept the status quo and see the positive in it, rather than go lengths to change it. So if appropriate, offer to make things better for them, with them.


If Positivity is one of your Dominant Themes, invest in it this week through the following challenge items: 
  • Learn a new joke and tell it 3 times this week.
  • What are you proudest of accomplishing this quarter? What doubt our criticism did you have to move past in order to get there? (This helps you explain that your talent isn’t simple naivety.) 
  • Count the number of people you make smile in 1 day. Double it by the end of the week. 

If Positivity is not one of your Dominant Themes, invest in it this week through the following challenge items: 
  • Which themes help you bring energy to a situation?  When do these engage?  
  • Try a structured activity that provides support and encouragement.  
    • This might be writing 5 thank-you’s, or learning an icebreaker and running it with a group.
      
How is your Positivity challenge going for this week? Share your thoughts and experiences on the Called to Coach Facebook page.

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Catch up on this season of Mastery Monday!

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