Rethinking the Power of Positive Thinking

Ron Ponce, president of Fog City Consulting, is in a relentlessly good mood, and he wants you to think positively, too. In a recent blog post at ProjectManagerPlanet.com, he revisits the classic self-help trope of the power of positive thinking, advising everyone to keep it cool and upbeat no matter what’s happening during a tough project. Whether or not you tend to have a sunny and optimistic personality naturally, there are a few points here well worth pondering.

In order to successfully navigate the team through these issues or challenges, top project managers leverage their positive perspective to provide confidence to the team that things will work out and that they have it under control. These same top project manager’s don’t take no for an answer and are able to challenge the status quo for themselves and their teams. The positive attitude becomes infectious many times and others on the team begin to take on that positive perspective. Frequently, that positive team momentum begins to correlate into a higher performing team.

His specific tips:

  • Solid regular sleep. "There is no denying the fact that sleep (or the lack there of) is key in determining the attitude we’ll have as face the world each day."
  • Don’t limit yourself. "It is important to not say no to yourself or to hear it from others. Possibility thinking will increase your potential and that of your team."
  • Don’t get too high or too low. "Emotions are a doubled edged sword in that they can help motivate and drive or they can drag you deeper down a hole when things are not going well."
  • Find a way to release stress. "You need to lessen the load of the baggage that you carry on a daily basis so that it does not become all consuming and you begin to lose focus."
  • Be prepared. "Doing your homework and being on top of a project gives you the confidence to be positive because you are actively managing and not passively reacting to items that can take you off course."
  • Fake it! "There are days or moments in the day where you are going to get down. You need to try to keep that to yourself and not allow others to see that. In those moments, fake being positive. You will be surprised that by faking your positive disposition that you will actually get back to your positive self faster than you think."

Don Willmott

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