Harnessing the Power of a Positive Team

Journal of Financial Planning: October 2020


There’s nothing like a pandemic to bring down your and your team’s positivity vibes. In this time of uncertainty, layoffs and pay cuts are a reality for many workers, morale may be low, and it’s time to explore how to build back up—or build from scratch—a positive team.

Jon Gordon has key takeaways on the benefits of building a positive team and how to do so in his 2018 book, The Power of a Positive Team.

The benefits to having a positive team are that you have a business advantage, your employees and teammates are more engaged, there is less turnover, and employees are willing to do more to achieve purpose-driven goals. It’s important to note that building a positive team isn’t the responsibility of just the leader or manager; rather it’s the responsibility of everybody on the team to have optimism, genuine care and love, excellence, and good communication.

Reframe how you think of your challenges. Don’t think of challenges as such, think of them as learning opportunities. Gordon even has an acronym—L.O.S.S.—which means “learning opportunity, stay strong.” He also recommends reframing things from thinking that you “have to” do something to you “get to” do something. For example, “I have to call my client today and she’s been pretty upset lately,” to “I get to help ease my client’s mind today because she’s been pretty upset.”

Think like a rookie. It’s easy to get jaded by past experiences and think that because you’ve always done things a certain way, that’s the only way that’s going to work. But Gordon notes it’s better to approach things with the naivete and enthusiasm of a rookie who hasn’t experienced as much hardship or failure as the more seasoned folks among us.

Don’t be an energy vampire. We’ve probably all been guilty of this—being the Debbie Downer in the group and pointing out only negative things or complaining incessantly. Especially during these times of COVID-19, it’s easy to fall into that trap. But be mindful of it and try to reframe your negative thoughts into positive thoughts. Also, call out energy vampires (privately, in an honest, direct, and respectful way) and offer constructive feedback.

“Having difficult conversations with your team leads to positive growth for everybody,” Gordon writes.

Practice Management
Career stage
Learning / Aspiring