3 November 2015

7 Ways To Create A Culture Of Positive Thinking


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell worked in Ciphr's marketing team from 2012-2020.


Leadership and management Strategy culture and values


Positive thinking improves wellness, productivity and morale. Just one positive influence in an office changes the environment for the better, so imagine the impact of culture which naturally encourages and inspires positive thinking and actions. Here’s how you can help to create a culture of positive thinking

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

—Leo Buscaglia – American author and motivational speaker

1.Positive responses

positive responsesEvery day we’re asked “how are you?” or simply “you OK?”, how do you respond?
Whenever we ask this question the usual response will be something similar to “not bad” or “can’t complain”.
Although these responses aren’t totally negative, they’re not particularly upbeat either.
Answering the same question with “I’m great thanks, how are you!?” is much more positive and will also encourage the person asking the question to reciprocate your positivity.

It may sound like a small thing, but this situation occurs numerous times daily between many employees and so reciprocity will spread throughout the workforce quickly.

Simply using more positive words in everyday situations works too:

1. Definitely
2. Surely
3. Absolutely
4. Certainly
5. Fantastic

Using words like those above in conversations helps to create a much more optimistic and enthused tone, and motivate those involved to share the enthusiasm with others.
So, rather than responding to a request with “OK, I’ll try and get that done today, but…..” change your response to “I’ll definitely get this done for you by the end of the day”.

Even if there’s a deadline don’t agree to ‘try and get something done’, but with a caveat, as this response leaves an uncertainty as to whether the task will be completed or not.
If you can complete the task, then answer as such. If you have doubts, then offer an alternative or enquire as to whether there’s any flexibility on the deadline if it has to be completed by you.

2.Be complimentary

Simply offering colleagues a compliment or two can work wonders for relationships, self confidence and morale. It’s free and easy to compliment someone on their contribution, work ethic or even something seemingly insignificant, such as how tidy they keep their desk.

A compliment can lead to many possibilities. It demonstrates and relays your respect, admiration, approval and many other emotions.
Without going overboard and offering false compliments to everyone, everyday, you can create a much nicer and friendlier environment to work in, where positive comments are made freely.

Complimenting a colleague on a particular project or task that they’ve completed is a great way to inspire them to do even better next time. Motivation can’t exist without those involved knowing that they’re doing well and are appreciated.

A compliment should be specific by nature, being too generic dilutes its effects. If you want to really affect morale in the long term, then compliment at the right time and in the right way.

“Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.” – Jack Canfield

3.Random acts of kindness

random acts of kindnessWhen was the last time someone randomly brought some cake that they had made to work, or bought ice creams at lunch?
If you can remember then it’s also likely that you recall it as a nice thing to do and the happiness and positivity it instilled in the office, even for just a short period.
Random acts of kindness don’t have to involve buying gifts for others, it could simply be offering your help without being asked, offering to complete a task for someone or just giving your advice.

When nice things happen by surprise it’s very difficult not to react in a happy and positive way. As well as improving the morale of the office, you’ll also do your reputation wonders with your colleagues.


Working with people who you know are happy to help and offer support is a much more positive environment than everyone in the office being laser-focused on what they’re doing and disregarding other’s needs.
A culture where asking for help isn’t uncomfortable and offering to assist is the ‘norm’ breeds productivity, improves morale and enthuses all those involved.

As well as the benefits seen by those on the receiving end of your generosity, it’s also good to be the one who’s generous.
According to a study, volunteering not only improves well-being and life satisfaction, but it’s also linked with decreased depression and a lower risk of dying early.

Cortisol levels were also found to be higher in those individuals who avoided being generous.


Being left out isn’t nice for anyone. Including everyone in the office in everyday activities will instill a culture of teamwork and comradery.
Feeling part of a unit and knowing that your opinion and input are valued means that you’ll be more positive about future challenges, and confident that you can accomplish goals, whether individual or mutual.

An inclusive environment also increases diversity within your business and all the benefits that brings.


“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland

Being challenged and achieving goals is an effective way to maintain and increase morale and positivity. Setting defined goals allows employees to focus on a specific target, work towards completing it and enjoy the feeling of achievement once they’ve reached the goal.

This process encourages positivity and motivation in the workforce through mutual progression and working together as a team, or as individuals to achieve common goals.
Setting a series of challenges that break down a otherwise seemingly insurmountable problem makes the process more manageable and, in turn, people will feel more confident and positive about being able to succeed.

Setting goals also provides employees with a way to quantify what they do for the brand.

When setting goals, ensure that they’re realistic and cover all of the important areas of the business. Concentrate on employee’s strengths and set challenges accordingly.
There’s no point in asking someone to complete a company critical task that’s not in their remit and they have no experience of, they won’t be motivated to do it and they’ll require other colleagues’ time and effort to help them get it done.


challenges in the workplaceWe all like to be recognised for doing well. Without recognition, it’s easy to become deflated and demoralised in what we do, lose passion and simply do what’s needed instead of exceeding our targets.

Recognising colleagues for the benefits they bring to the business shows that their efforts aren’t in vain and that their positive attitude towards work won’t go unnoticed.

“Whether it’s for nailing an investor presentation or grabbing lunch for you when you didn’t have a chance to break away, expressing gratitude generates positive feelings and makes others — and you — feel good. “Ending each day on a positive note gives us a head start on tomorrow,” – Tim Hird, Executive Director of Robert Half Management Resources