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The Practical Applications of Positive Leadership

“Mate, that’s a tough situation. Let me know if you need a hand at all.”

This was a direct quote from a colleague recently. In of itself, it’s not a revolutionary statement. I didn’t actually need his help. It’s not an uncommonly well phrased or linguistically eloquent phrase.


But it sure was powerful.


What struck me was not the offer of help, but my mind’s response to it. I was frustrated and tense, and someone recognising the difficulty of a situation and giving a genuine offer of help vastly improved my mental state. I was instantly grateful and more relaxed.


In a post last week, we examined the theory of positive leadership and its powerful potential for change. Continuing from that, below are some practical cues for being a positive leader in the face of adversity:


  • Show compassion. There is always pain in organisations. As a leader, acknowledging adversity and expressing understanding of having to manage it is powerful for team members.

  • Express gratitude. It is the mark of a gracious person and a powerful leader to express personal gratitude. A simple ‘thank you for your efforts’ can mean a disproportional amount by recognising and validating a team member’s efforts.

  • Reframe negative thinking. Ask questions that achieve this like “what can we learn from that? Is there anything we can do to help us accept it? What opportunity to take action is there for us moving forward?”

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