The power of positive re-thinking

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

By Mark Francis - Uspire's Director of Organisational Learning

When 16 teams have a bigger budget than us, what chance do we have to compete? It’s a logical perspective of course; it’s self-limiting too. When a team in English League 2 faced that seemingly restrictive obstacle of lower funding in 2022, we focused management and players on a set of thoughts which were high on positivity and expectation. The outcome? This season we are playing in a League higher. So does that mean that something as simple as re-framing thoughts can have a monumental impact on changing the outcomes?

This blog argues strongly:  ‘Yes!’

Similarly, when we were asked by a consumer products business based in the US to help change the sales team's behaviours, we started with an analysis of what they were thinking about in terms of: the Company, it's performance & prospects. When we received the feedback in a passionate and largely negative flood we knew immediately that this core thinking was holding to ransome any chance of growth.

Here’s some of what we heard:-

‘We are too slow to respond’

‘We are behind the Eight ball on new products’

‘I think our prices are way too high’

‘The Customer Services team are pants’

‘We need to have a better offering’

‘The competitors do things better’

‘Where’s the investment in growth then?’

‘Nothing exciting ever happens round here!’

Consider for a moment how many of those comments could be merely fact-less personal perception? Reflect also on just how many negative consequences could derive merely from allowing this negative thinking to sit amongst your front-line teams. Inspired by a conversation with a fellow consultant Kevin Walsh#, I decided to make sure that every time I coach or train, that I would focus first on understanding and helping people’s mindset; with the right mindset, the readiness to accept some new tools and to embrace new skills becomes more possible. 

Kevin Walsh and I were reflecting on the Conference we co-facilitated in Miami. The problem statement we were trying to solve was: What is the ideal sequence to enable someone to re-think a situation substantially?  We agreed four steps which deliberately spell the words TEAR and TEAR. The first pronunciation to rhyme with pear, as in ‘tear up the script’. The alternative pronunciation to rhyme with smear, as in ‘A tear will flow’.

The premise is that when you change your thoughts it has a connected emotional effect. The power of the emotional response to a new thought  then triggers different behaviours. Finally, new behavioural actions lead to new and consciously better results. T.E.A.R. is a fabulous model for coaching. You can begin with the results question first; next phase is the exploration of the how (actions), the motivators (emotions) and the original pre-conceived ideas (thoughts).

So, are we saying that a relentlessly positive attitude will always eventually lead to better results? ‘sometimes’, ‘not always’ and ‘it depends’. There is a prime need to re-frame the main thought.  Thereafter, for the new thinking to stick, repetition, encouragement and determination to adopt the new thinking are all vital. It’s why the Tigger Effect is so useful. Tell yourself enough (with passion and a sense of fun) that the opportunities are limitless and a whole world of possibilities open up. My colleagues at Uspire call me ‘Tigger’ and in my blissful  exuberance (a less Tigger-like word would be ‘ignorance’, I only see it as a compliment.

I do instinctively bring bouncing, positive energy to events which could otherwise feel mundane, routine and run-of-the-mill. The Power of positive re-thinking isn’t just intuitive for those, like me, with a relentlessly optimistic outlook. Simply start by sense checking what thought comes first in any given situation. Ask yourself two questions: what self-limiting thought is embedded in this situation? How can I re-phrase that into a wholly positive statement?

What life lessons can we learn from Tigger’s quotes? Tigger’s quotes offer valuable life lessons, including embracing optimism, facing challenges with determination, believing in oneself, and cherishing the power of love and friendship. His quotes inspire us to live life to the fullest and to find joy in even the simplest moments.

"Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb but how well you bounce"

'Once in a while someone amazing comes along and here I am"

"People should seriously stop expecting normal from me. We all know its not going to happen"

Does Tigger have any humorous quotes that bring laughter to the Hundred Acre Wood?Yes, Tigger’s sense of humour shines through in his quotes. Some of his humorous lines include “Why do we fall, you ask? So we can practice getting up with our bouncing skills!” and “A little laughter makes the gloomiest days bounce away!”

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