Embracing Positivity in Leadership


The Power of Positivity in Leadership

Positivity. It’s a simple word but carries a weighty impact, especially in the realm of leadership. As leaders, many face the pressing question: “How do I become more positive?” And the reality is, there’s a constant bombardment of negativity in the world today, which makes the journey to positivity feel even more crucial. Let’s delve into the importance of embracing positivity in leadership and how to foster a culture of positivity for improved employee engagement.

Why Positivity in Leadership Matters

Leaders play a crucial role in setting the tone for the entire team. A negative attitude? It permeates throughout the organization, impacting communications, interactions, and the overall workplace environment. A leader’s demeanor can directly influence team motivation, engagement, and productivity. It’s pretty significant when you think about it.

Yet, many wonder why embracing positivity in leadership can be such a challenge. From an evolutionary standpoint, our minds are wired to focus on the negative – think survival instincts. A prehistoric person would prioritize immediate dangers (like that lurking tiger) over appreciating a beautiful flower. Fast forward to the present day, and while there aren’t any literal tigers threatening us, the brain continues to highlight dangers and negativity. This inclination is further intensified by dramatic, negative news which grabs our attention.

In daily interactions, many find it easier to pinpoint and correct mistakes rather than appreciate good deeds. This default mode can lead to a culture where accomplishments are dismissed with remarks like “Well, of course they did that.” This imbalance often leaves leaders wondering why their teams lack motivation.

The key takeaway? Positive leadership involves actively acknowledging and celebrating the good in team members. By increasing the frequency and intensity of positive interactions, leaders can set the stage for seeing more of these good deeds.

Positive Interactions and Stress Reduction

Beyond its impact on motivation and productivity, maintaining positive interactions is vital for another reason: reducing stress levels. A leader perceived as intimidating or unpredictable can cause heightened stress and anxiety among team members. Anxiety, in turn, stifles creativity, innovation, and focus. The last thing a leader wants is a team consumed by anxious thoughts, especially when they should be channeling their energies toward productivity.

So, how can leaders reduce such anxieties?

  1. Foster Positive Communications:
    While constructive criticism has its place, it’s essential that positive communications outweigh the negative ones.

  2. Be Clear and Direct: Being unclear in expectations can breed unnecessary stress. Avoiding ambiguity and taking the time to spell out directions can have an immensely positive impact on employee engagement.

Creating a Culture of Positivity

For leaders experiencing challenges in team dynamics, a pivotal question remains: do you genuinely care about your team? A culture of indifference often stems from mutual lack of care. True positive leadership requires genuine interest in team members’ well-being. It means checking in, offering support, and ultimately serving the team with clarity and genuine concern.

For those grappling with negativity or toxic behaviors within the team, it’s vital to lead by example. Passive-aggressive actions, like eye-rolling, need to be addressed immediately, ensuring everyone understands the expectations. But it’s equally important for leaders to avoid such behaviors themselves. Teams are a reflection of their leaders. If certain behaviors aren’t acceptable, leaders need to make that crystal clear.

In situations where key team members resist organizational changes, it’s essential to engage them directly. Sometimes, resistance arises from fear or uncertainty. In these cases, involving them in the change process, ensuring they have a clear role and growth opportunity, can mitigate negativity.


Being a leader is not merely about managing or delegating tasks. It’s about fostering a culture of positivity, ensuring teams are engaged, motivated, and stress-free. Remember, leadership is a journey of becoming. Embrace the responsibility and become the leader who champions a culture of positivity at every turn.

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Dr. Michelle Rozen
Dr. Michelle Rozen

Dr. Michelle Rozen, Ph.D., is a highly respected authority on the psychology of change. She is one of the most booked motivational speakers in the world and a frequent guest on media outlets such as NBC, ABC, FOX News, and CNN. She speaks on topics related to dealing with change in every aspect of our lives, so that we can do better and feel better.

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