Do you take time in your day, week or year to acknowledge the good in your life, your work and your relationships? In the book Switch, authors Chip and Dan Heath discuss cultural change in organizations. One of the strategies they say helps companies move through change is to focus on the “Bright Spots,” which are processes, people, or things that are working well. When you focus on what is working, you create more of it. I have said it in the past – what you put your attention on grows.
Likewise, it is hard to create a habit of acknowledgment in others if we are not acknowledging ourselves first. It all starts within us. Once we fill up our acknowledgment tank internally, we have plenty to give to others. And let’s face it, just as it feels good to receive acknowledgement from others, it feels good to acknowledge others.
So looking at your work week, where can you begin to practice acknowledgment – first with yourself and the “bright spots” in your work environment, and then with your colleagues, boss, and the many others you encounter every day? Try to identify one part of your day when you can speak encouraging words to yourself and then to someone else.
You might be surprised at how good it feels to shift your focus from what is not working to what working and take your thinking in a positive direction. We seem to be a problem-focused society. 75% of the average person’s thinking is negative.
We look for what is wrong before we look for what is working. However, we have a choice in what we think and how we respond. So why not shift to a more positive mindset? After all, does focusing on the negative create greater ease and effortlessness? Of course not. Maybe focusing on the positive would…worth a try, don’t you think?
As we move through the change in seasons and the changes in our business environments, experiment with acknowledging and speaking about what is working well. Put your attention there. This may just make change that much more enjoyable and create even greater abundance of the good things in your work and in your life.