The Gift of Positive Expectation

Encourage, Discourage Fotolia_37582774Whether you are a leader or an employee, giving yourself and others the gift of positive expectation is a key to having work that is thoroughly engaging.

It starts when you wake up

  • When you wake up in the morning is it with a groan or a smile? Are you happy to be alive or is the jury still out? When my friend William, who is very positive, wakes up, he raises both hands toward the ceiling and waves them around. He tells me, “If I don’t feel a coffin lid, I get out of bed, happy to have another day.”
  • As you’re getting ready for work are your thoughts centered on expectations of having a good day at work? Or are you already steeling yourself for problems?

The Law of Attraction dictates that you get more of what you focus on. Shorthand for that is:

  • If you expect negative experiences, that’s what you will get.
  • When you expect positive experiences, life gets really good really fast. EVEN YOUR WORK LIFE.

It impacts productivity at work

If you are a leader at work (officially or not) you have a great opportunity each day to impact your company culture by giving coworkers and those who report to you the gift of positive expectation. Expect people to do good work. Encourage them by catching them doing something right and let them know you notice. And practice this on yourself, as well. Stop waiting for your boss to notice all the great things you do. Keep your own personnel file and write yourself up for good performance; keeping track of all the things you do well will result in you getting even better at your job and more productive. This is the same impact you will see when you do the same for others.

Fact: psychologists tell us it takes seven positive statements to offset a negative one. Ponder that for a moment. Think about the impact when you know someone important does not have faith in you.

Some of you use others’ negative expectation of you as motivation to try even harder. “I’ll prove them wrong,” you say to yourself. Because you use it to motivate yourself, you think having negative expectations of others will also motivate them, and it may. But it is much more motivating to want to live up to positive expectations than negative ones. When you have faith in someone, they usually will work hard because they don’t want to let you down.

Fact: Human beings would rather be right than happy. When you have positive expectations of others, you will go out of your way to notice the things that support your faith in them. Conversely, when you have negative expectations, you will notice all the things to support that belief!

Start practicing giving the gift of positive expectations. I’m not saying you won’t be let down from time to time; you will. However, when you expect the best from others and watch for it, you will be blown away by how often they rise to meet your expectations. Employee Engagement will rise and so will morale.

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