I just had my flu shot -- the last couple of years the Government of Canada has recommended that we "Get the Shot, Not the Flu." The purpose of an immunization -- although it is not guaranteed -- is to provide yourself with as much protection as possible from contracting the influenza virus (which can be very nasty and long-lasting -- in addition to being highly contagious). I ran into a doctor friend of mine who said that last year she and her family missed the shot, and they were "down" for about two months in total as the flu made its way through their home.
So, if we can immunize ourselves from the nasty effects of influenza with a vaccine, what can you do to immunize yourself and your organization against negativity (which can absolutely be nasty and contagious costing you and your organization time, energy, and money)?
Here are a few ideas to keep in mind. The prescription is a daily dose of P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E.:
P is for Present: This is about more than just showing up, it's about really being there in mind and body. Something that can help you be fully present is to remember to take regular breaks, and during your breaks be mindful to how you are feeling, and what you are thinking. If you are more present, you'll help to encourage everyone in your organization to do the same.
O is for Optimistic: What are you thinking? Literally. Is your internal dialogue filled with hope and possibility? Do you speak about setbacks as temporary, and as opportunities to learn? Change your internal and external dialogue and notice what new things you notice.
S is for Shared: Ensure that everyone in your organization has a voice. Your culture is shared whether you know it or not so why not make sure you seek out the voice that works FOR you, rather than falling victim to the one that might work AGAINST you.
I is for Intentional: Do not leave your organizational culture to chance. Be intentional about what you want to create within your organizatio and outside in the community and world in which you exist.
T is for Thank-full: Gratitude is the #1 strategy for happiness (which equates to energy and productivity in organizational terms). Look for ways to be grateful each day. (Start each meeting with a reflection on what's good in your organization; at the end of the day, notice one thing for which you are thankful that day, etc.). And, of course, let the people in your life know how grateful you are for them.
I is for Inspired: Allow everyone in the organization to see - every day - how they are part of something bigger than themselves. Help them to see just how connected we all are. (I think this video illustrates some of that sentiment.)
V is for Vulnerable: According to Dr. Brene Brown, ""Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change." Need I say more? Be yourself, try new things, make mistakes and talk about them - get real with people around you. You - and they - will be glad you did.
E is for Energized: If you do something from each of the above every day, you'll be energized! On top of that, remember these other things that are not only good for your body, they are good for your mind; smile (even a fake one has positive effects), eat well (most of the time - in grade 5 my son learned about the 80/20 rule...eat until you are 80% full, make healthy choices 80% of the time...makes sense to me), drink water, and move as much as you can (hop, jump, run, walk, dance).
What do you do to immunize yourself and your organization against negativity? I'd love to hear your ideas.