Fostering Optimism in Your Team
by Victor Perton, Author of Optimism: The How and Why
In our corporate and institutional work, we ask senior leaders to open up conversations right across the business on what makes the team members optimistic.
- For the next meeting, you lead, add an item to the agenda - "What makes you Optimistic?"
- If you feel it needs it, add an explanatory note, "At its simplest, optimism is an expectation that good things will happen and that things will work out in the end."
- Go around the table asking each person what makes them optimistic.
- Take your time, don’t rush. If someone doesn’t feel ready to express themselves, let them take a pass.
Try this again three months later. Has the conversation changed? Has it had an impact on your work and team interaction?
I recently had a businessman expressing frustration that the effect of his Monday morning pep talks to his sales team appeared to have worn off by Monday lunchtime. I suggested he change one of his Monday morning meetings to include an opening question from each of his sales-team expressing their case for optimism. It worked! He has made it a monthly ritual at sales meetings.