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This month’s challenge to my email subscribers was to start an epidemic – in a really good way. I am hoping to trigger a wave of goodwill. I am imagining 1000 people in my network spreading positive intentions and an uplifting mood, infecting 10 people with a good bug, who will then pass it on to 10 others. Soon, there will be a ripple effect that can be felt around the world. Can you picture that? Doesn’t that sound and feel amazing?
An uplifting mood can be exquisitely contagious when it is passed on through an unexpected act of kindness, a simple but personal expression of gratitude, a recognition of potential or an acknowledgement of a unique talent that is not obvious to everyone. What these gestures communicate is that you truly see the individual, that you personally care and that you attribute value to that person. And that is what we all deeply crave for: being seen, being valued and being able to contribute positively. We all need human connection, love that bridges differences, and appreciation that points to a deeper purpose so we feel that we belong.
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
All it takes is paying attention to the people around you, noticing them and being creative in connecting with them on a personal level – and be it just for a brief moment.
If you need a little kick-start for boosting your own mood and connecting to awe and wonder, watch one of my favorite leadership clips about gratitude by Louie Schwartzberg:
Now that you are inspired, here are a few mini challenges to get you started:
- Engage in and log 10 unexpected acts of kindness and notice what happens.
- Express your gratitude for another person with a specific comment.
- Let others know what blossoming potential or underappreciated talent you see in them.
Since sending out this challenge, I have received a few stories from my subscribers and clients about spreading positivity:
“I praised my admin assistant during an all staff meeting for putting together a rather complex project chart that will be distributed to senior leadership. She received several positive feedback comments afterwards and had a noticeably cheerful way of interacting for several days afterwards. I realized how often I take exceptional work for granted in my field and will express positive appreciation for excellent work more often in the future.” Senior Leader in Technology Company
“The challenge made me more aware of the quality and intentionality of my interactions with other people. I found myself making more eye contact and being more present and less hurried in the moment when I tried to just connect with the people around me. It actually made mundane interactions more fun, like buy coffee at the coffee shop or saying good morning to the receptionist and greeting her by name. Funny how paying attention to the positive things in life lifted my own mood.” Manager at Local Government
“We have a challenging person on our team and most people avoid talking with her. I made a point to stop at her desk at least once every week over the last 3 weeks, asked her a question and just listened to her for a couple of minutes. I think she is very lonely. I am not sure if she noticed my efforts but I feel better when I see her now and it feels less tense with her.” Manager at Non-profit Organization
Are you ready to get involved in making the world a better place for a moment or maybe even longer?
REFLECTION & ACTION
- What is your dominant mood? How do you express that?
- How do other people’s moods impact you?
- What can you do for yourself to lift your mood?
- What do you notice when you assume positive intent in others under all circumstances?
- What emotions do you want people to feel when they encounter you?
- What actions can you take to invite those feelings?
Questions about this exercise or other leadership capacity building practices?
Contact me via email or even better, schedule a free Discovery Coaching Call with me! I love talking with people!