By Jan Tinsley | PowWow
In part one of this Article, I talked about how we survived the collapse of our business in the crash of the 1980’s and the rational steps we used for Business Survival. We talked about reinventing, retraining, transforming and change. How we held on to HOPE, put in the effort that results in RESILIENCE and how we can act with some caution but MORE optimism, so that our survival instinct kicks in. In part two, I’d like to talk about how our teams are feeling at a deeper and more fundamental level – the emotional level. We can influence and reassure the team during these difficult and uncertain times with some simple expressions that have a big and positive impact.
RATIONAL meets EMOTIONAL – the positive alchemy.
There’s a wonderful statement in the book ‘Making Hope Happen’ by Shane J. Lopez – ‘Hope happens when our rational selves meets our emotional selves’. We may be familiar with our rational selves, but perhaps not so with our ‘emotional’ selves. It got me thinking about the importance of positive emotions and how we can engage them to function, grow and change. This is so important for your team. They are human beings, with human feelings and emotions. In good times and in bad, we can influence our people. On the surface it may be with small gifts, a bonus, celebrations, kindness, rewards. At a deeper level we can tap into, demonstrate and lead with the example of positive emotions.
THE GOOD NEWS – positive emotions as a magic medicine.
When we use and express positive emotions we open up, we expand peripheral vision (remove the blinkers!), we are more capable, extend our creativity and imagination, improve visual attention, intensify verbal agility, improve interaction, find creative solutions and are more effective interpersonally. How about having a team infused with these qualities as part of your efforts to bounce back? From this positive place, the team can actively pursue what is possible with persistence and effort. They can behave better under pressure.
Positive emotions aren’t typical business strategies. It’s unlikely you’ll see them in a Business Plan, or Forecast, or on an Agenda. But they can be used subtly in behaviour and introduced authentically into organisational values and beliefs. By providing guidance on the use of positive emotions in your organisation, you are setting at its core, valuable standards that facilitate progress and support kindness, diversity and wellbeing.
So here are 10 Positive Emotions that you can engage and nurture in your team and lead by example. You will recognise the words in what we have discussed in the first part of this article. Notice the experience and the empowerment and apply them to yourself, your team and your business. You will have many of your own stories and examples attached to these words.
- GRATITUDE – for those things that are still going well.
- INTEREST – alert and curious about the possibilities.
- HOPE – encouraged by new opportunities for the future.
- PRIDE – in those things you’ve achieved so far.
- SERENITY – thinking of new ways to feel accepting and content.
- AMUSEMENT – remembering to embrace fun and laughter.
- JOY – feeling playful and willing to get motivated
- INSPIRATION – feel motivated by small successes, excellence and all positive results in between.
- AWE – experience wonder at the way some things have evolved already.
- LOVE – feeling close and safe and affirming the connectedness of a team working together towards a common goal.
From a rational point of view, resilience is accessible for all those who are willing to engage and embrace the work. For us, it wasn’t about fighting for our existing business, it was about having the courage to walk away, to give up. In the end it was a relief. But that gave us the opportunity to start afresh with new hope, knowing what we’d already achieved and learned.
Hope is an essential and transformative tool of life and often a secret weapon! We may have given up on our business, but we never gave up on ourselves. Our ability to bounce back was supported by the experience we’d gained and some of the successes too. We’d got a lot right and as a bonus, met some amazing people.
Survival is a very strong instinct and will fuel recovery and rebuilding. Whether you’re fighting to keep an existing business or starting up a new one, the motivation is there at a deep level to put food on the table and protect and provide for your loved ones. And that’s all we did for a while. Until we started making progress again, took risks, moved forward, started enjoying new accomplishments and got creative.
This is where the emotional juices start flowing. Only after the event, can I recognise the positive emotions that helped us. Looking at the list above, we were grateful for our survival and resurrection and became curious about the possibilities ahead. Our hope fostered pride in the things we’d achieved so far and whilst striving and motivated we were accepting of our new path. We’ve always had fun and laughed and partied hard, always willing to celebrate anything and everything with family, friends and in business, even with very little. I remember when we were enjoying a new house with visitors, a friend said ‘even when you had nothing Jan, you still shared it!’
Our journey in business brought us a sale success that set us up in a way we could not have dreamed possible but still the roller coaster ride continued. We forged through yet another recession in 2008, had to change direction again and be flexible and creative. Now we watch our children and other business interests navigate through the current depression coupled with a global pandemic.
One lesson is strong, that you need rational and sound business practices but you also need positive emotional belief and dedication to move you forward and fulfil your potential. The combination provides the alchemy for success to move us from Despair to Hope, from Fear to Elation, from Languishing to Flourishing. I believe it’s the emotion that provides the motion.
Engaging and combining these rational behaviours and positive emotions, is not an option right now. Your survival may depend upon it!
Jan Tinsley now lives on the Isle of Man. Her passion for business, marketing, positivity, solution focus, learning and personal and business growth led her to launch PowWow, an in-person and online space where people can Talk, Learn and Grow.
Jan’s passion is to inspire people to keep learning, keep improving, listen to those who inspire us, learn from others and spend time with people who will do the same. She believes that, with the right amount of encouragement, support and opportunity, people and businesses can rise from adversity, adapt and change to grow, thrive and flourish.