"I look for a place to take action or make an impact": Franziska Kroll
By Maria Noemi Hernandez, Marketing Manager at Collato
Be optimistic. You are never truly powerless.
Many of the world's most distinguished people are optimistic. People like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Barack Obama all have one thing in common: they see the glass as half full.
I asked Franziska Kroll, Culture Manager at Collato, what makes her optimistic personally and professionally. She also shared some tips for keeping an optimistic culture at work.
The world is full of problems; we all know that. But the world is also full of people who are optimistic and enthusiastic.
What is optimism? The Centre for Optimism defines optimism as "an expectation that good things will happen and that things will work out in the end."
Franziska Kroll's optimism "has to do with the feeling that we can have an impact for the better. It entails assuming personal responsibility for one's well-being while at the same time having the certainty that favorable events and circumstances will possibly come to pass.”
If we understand that optimism is the belief that good things will happen and that you can make a difference in your life, how can you be an optimistic person in a complicated world?
"Always look at the part of a situation you can influence. And if it is only 1%, then you still go for that," Franziska says. Being the daughter of GDR (German Democratic Republic) parents, she learned to have a practical approach to life: "One of the things I learned from my parents is that you should not complain about a thing and then keep complaining about it. If things don't work or go according to plan, go out there and fix them."
What makes you optimistic?
Franziska is clear when asked what makes her optimistic: "I believe that the change is possible. I look for a place to take action or make an impact."
She’s very emphatic about differentiating optimism from toxic positivity, however. The Psychology Group defines toxic positivity as "the excessive and ineffective overgeneralization of a happy, optimistic state across all situations."
Franziska states that we should not give up on things, question the narrative, and do what's on our hands to change. But we should remember to accept our feelings, take a step back and see the big picture.
To reset her mood and return to an optimistic mode, she reminds herself, "Everything will be ok in the end. If it is not ok, it's not the end."
How to keep an optimistic culture at work?
As Collato’s culture manager, Franziska is responsible for keeping the work environment safe and healthy. But she's not the only one. In the end, the culture of a workspace depends on every employee. Creating an optimistic workplace environment is not only possible, but it's also necessary for success.
Here are some of Franziska's tips that each individual can practice on how to help create an energized and optimistic culture in the office:
- Always believe that things can be different. Don't lose hope. If you’re unhappy with something, look for the change you need. There is always one thing you can do to change your surroundings, even if it is only how you will feel about them. As Viktor Frankl once said: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
- Do the tetralemma. It's a very simple and effective exercise. "Get out of the narrow mind space and look for more options.”
- Do soul-searching and ask yourself: "If you knew that you could not fail, what would you do?" Franziska says that this will give you the answer to what's really important to you.
- Be yourself. Don't play a role that you think you need to play. "Have a good cleansing cry. Speak from your heart and your truth."
- Be transparent. Remember that everyone has moments when they feel down at work. Expressing those feelings allows you to find solutions and get back on the path to success.
- Practice gratitude. Every day, take a few minutes to reflect on the things you're thankful for.
This could be your health, family and friends, job, or anything else that brings you joy.
What can you learn from Franziska Kroll to apply to your life today?
If you find yourself in an unhappy or even pessimistic position, you have to think about your power in this situation to change it for yourself and others. Being optimistic is not only about seeing the glass half full. It's about accepting the feelings first, including the pessimistic ones. Not pushing them aside but using them as a source of information on what really needs to change and where you should exert your power.
This means believing that you can improve and grow, even facing challenges. Because in the end, "we're never powerless."
Are you an optimistic person? Do you believe you can make a difference in your life and the world around you?
Author: Maria Noemi Hernandez is the Marketing Manager at Collato. From Venezuela, Maria is a marketer by day, and a Netflix addict by night. She is curious about different topics, so be ready to read insightful blogs about the Future of Work, leadership, female empowerment, and more.