How To Stay Positive During Tough Times

How To Stay Positive During Tough Times
Posted By: Gloria McDonough-Taub | Senior Producer
| 02 Oct 2008 | 01:33 PM ET

We all know these are tough times – the economy has tanked, our 401ks are in the toilets and all this talk about a depression is well, depressing.

And there is no escape from the gloomy news: it is being talked about from the pulpits and the bimahs, commuters riding on the trains who had in the past ignored each other are commiserating over the crisis, even at my PTA meeting last night no one was talking about the upcoming pancake breakfast – all the talk was about is how bad it is – or how bad it feels.

So today when I got an email about “8 Ways To Maintain A Positive Attitude In Tough Times” I knew this was something I had to share.

Now is the time to “fake it” – which isn’t so hard for those of us who live in the suburbs – we’ve been faking it for years. But now is the time when businesses and bosses are looking for winners not whiners. Now is the time to dig deep in order to get ahead.

Barbara Pachter a business coach and author of several business books including “When The Little Things Count…And They Always Count” says being too negative can cost you more than some sleepless nights – being too negative could cost you your job.

Pachter has 8 suggestions for going positive during these negative times:

1. AVOID DOWNBEAT TOPICS. Don’t keep discussing negative things. You do not want to keep talking about how you lost the contract, how bad the economy is, etc. People will steer clear of you to avoid listening to your negative comments.

2. REMIND YOURSELF TO BE POSITIVE. One man I coached put up a small sign by his desk with the initials KIP. (Keep it positive.) Another man had a boss who would pass him a note that had B+ (be positive) on it if he started being negative in meetings.

3. TAKE ACTION. Don’t let a bad situation paralyze you. Explore different options. Take a class, sign up for training. Keep your resume up-to-date; don’t put your job search on hold. The more action you take, the more likely the issue will be resolved.

4. STOP COMPLAINING. Complaining is draining. People get tired of listening to the same negative comments about someone over and over again. If you have an issue with someone, talk to him or her, don’t complain to others. Plus, people can start wondering what negative things you are saying about them to others.

5. WORD THINGS POSITIVELY. The same thought can often be expressed negatively or positively. One manager said, “I don’t want my people viewed as unprofessional or incompetent.” Or, “I want my people viewed as professional and competent.” What would you rather hear?

6. DISAGREE AGREEABLY. Saying, “I see it differently,” or “I disagree” lets people know that you have a different opinion without attacking them or their opinion. If you said, “You’re wrong” you are pointing fingers.

7. AVOID USE OF THE WORD “BUT.” “But” can negate what comes before it. If someone said, “I agree but…”or “You did a nice job but…” You are waiting for the bad news. Use the word “and.” You did a nice job and it would even be better if…”

8. REMEMBER YOUR NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION. Have a pleasant facial expression. No stern expressions, frowns or stares of gloom as you go about your day. Greet people when you see them. Avoid sarcasm and eliminate any harsh tone to your voice.

Questions, comments?
© 2008 CNBC, Inc. All Rights Reserved



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