The world has become hostile and it seems like everything is always negative. Conspiracy theories and uncertainty seem to go hand in hand with all careers. Our responsibility as the new generation of employees is to circumvent that hostility and become more positive.
While we have been raised to always suspect the worst and to think that if something doesn’t seem like it is bad enough, it probably will get worse, we don’t have to be that way.
Shubha Shukla, Director of NFL League and Team Marketing at FanDuel highlights the important of positive intent:
What is Positive Intent?
Of course, we are going to assume that being positive in the workplace means that you are nice to everyone and if someone asks you to pick up a coffee for them, you do it. However, positive intent doesn’t just mean that. It also means that we have to look at ourselves with an air of positivity. It means that if someone looks at you critically, you have to step back and look at it from a different perspective.
It also means that you want to help others grow and become successful.
Only once you do both of these things will you be able to truly see the best in people and believe that there aren’t hidden agendas in the workplace.
Is Positive Intent Risky?
When you first try to be positive and experience positive intent, it can make you feel vulnerable. It is a way of opening yourself up to criticism that sometimes makes you feel like you are wide open in a negative way. Of course, there is also some risk here that people might not be as positive.
The risk can be outweighed if you are able to create a culture where positive intent is going to be the default. This will take some time, some practice in communication, and in some cases, a spoken affirmation that the company is moving in that direction. Of course it will be difficult to know if the message has been received by everyone.
Start building that culture as soon as you can, because it can really take some time to get there.
The Benefits of Positive Intent
Having a workplace that assumes positive intent saves energy and makes everyone feel more productive. It can also eliminate the emotional cycle that tends to pop up in almost every workplace.
Efficiency will rise, workplace happiness will grow, and confidence in each other will breed more opportunities for success.
The next time you feel uncomfortable with an email or a workplace comment or someone says something that makes you feel on edge, take a few steps away from the situation. Assume positive intent and don’t always think that everyone is out to get you. Instead, ask that person to clarify his or her comments and open up a dialogue. You’ll be surprised how your relationships improve.
Other than that, watch yourself grow as well – you’ll become a better employee, a better friend, and even a better person.