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Cultivating a Positive Attitude and Outlook for Improving Performance and Productivity and Gaining a Competitive Edge
by C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.

Too many folks seem to think that since business is a serious, competitive pursuit, it can actually be compromised by too much enthusiasm and positive expectations. That in order to plan for possible negative outcomes we need to err on the "more realistic" pessimistic side. Quite the contrary. There are a number of ways positivity makes you perform and produce better and be even more competitive, while also taking pleasure in your work. Here are three:

1. Customers, clients and co-workers are attracted by positive energy.

Customers usually don't like to listen to a sales pitch, but they enjoy clever, enthusiastic demonstrations. So sellers who show off their products with passion and personal animation get better sales than those who calmly and logically present benefits and features.

Thinking about "showing things off," it's also been found that upbeat people are the most likely to design upbeat displays/presentations with fun interactivity which work well at getting customers engaged. The customers then more or less sell themselves on the product.

The word "fun" comes to mind to describe projects and workspace shared with positive people. If the work of producing the project or the atmosphere in the workplace is fun, the workers work with greater enthusiasm, work faster to be able to enjoy the end product as much as the making of it, and produce a higher quality product. If you like working on a product, don't you want it to become the best it can be? That's competitive.

2. Customer service is improved by positive attitude.

People with positive attitudes are warm and friendly with a can-do approach to problems. They also make genuine connections with customers. Customers develop confidence in such people very rapidly and are often willing to wait longer for solutions because they trust their helpers to do the best for them.

Furthermore, positive employees work faster because they have more energy and can keep it longer. So, your business profits from having employees who get the shelves stocked faster, check out customers more efficiently, answer the phones quicker and take better messages...well, you get the idea. That's competitive.

3. The ability to keep going through adverse circumstances and succeed requires a relentlessly positive outlook.

When going through hard times, whether personally or in business, positive people have beliefs about themselves and their abilities that give them confidence they can do something about it. If you ask one of them to explain why the adverse situation occurred, his explanation will include ways in which he was responsible for the outcome. People who believe they play a part in the creation of the circumstances in their lives also believe they have abilities to change those circumstances. And even when circumstances were in no way related to a positive person, they believe they have experience and abilities that can impact the situation. So they keep looking for solutions and improvements until they find them. And they don't complain much about the situation.

Employees who have a positive outlook aren't gossips and nay-sayers. They don't blame management or co-workers for problems, they just try various, creative ways to make things better. And they support others emotionally through troubles, downturns and reverses.

Employees with positive outlooks are a pleasure and a profit to have around. Entrepreneurs with a positive outlook are likely to have a profitable competitive edge.



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