Success Starts With a Conversation
The mountain was crowded that day with some teams that were expert and courteous, but there were a couple of teams that disregarded all mountain code. It was sort of a junk show, and they put more than just their own team members in danger.
But I was confident in my team and their skill set, and I made sure that my communication with them was clear and positive. We had a goal, and we were going to get there--despite what others around us were doing.
Don't get me wrong. I didn't sugar-coat things either. If I needed a rest, or had to talk through a difficult section I made sure that my team knew what I needed. I had to be careful that I didn't dismiss my discomfort completely, and part of keeping things positive was alerting my team to my state of mind so they could be extra alert if I needed them to.
Positive thinking and conversations were not just a mere pat on the back. If morale and communication failed, mistakes, injuries, and bad decisions were bound to happen.
Turns out that positive conversations aren't always necessarily "happy" conversations, and negative conversations are detrimental to any team anywhere. Including the office. If you're noticing a high turnover rate, low morale, or team members suffering serious health problems you might want to check the frequency of positive interactions.
Here's a few things to keep in mind when stress or problems arise, and why it's absolutely essential to lead with positive leadership strategies:
The Chemistry of Conversations
Positive conversations aren't just something nice--they're essential to the health and well-being of your team.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article written by Judith E. and Richard D. Glaser, research showed that the cortisol produced by negative conversations between managers and employees can remain in the body for up to 26 hours. Whereas, oxytocin produced by positive interactions is not nearly as long-lasting.
So the results of negative conversations reside in our bodies much longer than positive conversations. As a leader working to build a profitable business, you know that your most valuable asset is the people working with you day to day in the office. It's probably a good idea to frequently take a conversational intelligence test to gauge the oxytocin temperature of the office.
Researchers asked managers how often they engaged in several behaviors — some positive, and others negative — on a scale of 0 through 5, in which 0 was “never” and 5 was “always.” It's important that you ask yourself regularly how often you engage in the same behaviors:
It looks like managers self-reported having more positive interactions with their employees, but the negative conversations were still present and not far behind the positive conversations. Remember, cortisol stays in the body much longer than oxytocin.
So how many more positive conversations do you need to have in relation to negative conversations in order to create a profitable team?
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