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How To Become More Positive

April 14, 2024 - April 14, 2024   

Eric Gilston, Life & Business Coach reveals his top tip for remaining positive…

I was doing some business coaching earlier this year at a school in London. The students, 25 in total, aged 17, had come up with eight ideas to tackle a real business challenge set by a well known company. They then had to agree as to which idea they wanted to progress with – which is easier said than done.

As a business coach, I stood back to allow them to decide how they should get agreement on moving forward with just one idea.

The starting point was when someone suggested that each person, who had put forward an idea, should present their case as to why their idea was the best. This was agreed. It was then fascinating to watch and listen as each person, who thought that their idea was the best, got pulled apart from those students who were strong enough to express a view.

At no point in time did anyone start expressing their opinion with what they liked about the idea. Isn’t this interesting, and something that we all observe on a daily basis? The easiest thing in the world is to criticise someone, and especially criticise someone’s idea.

When I came out of University, my first job was with the multi-national company Unilever. I remember being sent on a course with a company called Synectics who introduced me to creative problem solving. It was during my early years with Unilever that I applied the technique that I had learned for becoming more positive. Not only have I used this ever since, but I have also passed on this technique to many people.

So, if you believe that you are very quick to find fault in someone’s idea/suggestion, rather than put the effort in to think positively, and you would like to change, then this is the process from now on.

As soon as someone puts forward their point of view on something, or suggests something to you, the first thing you have to do is think of THREE things that you LIKE about what they are saying. Not one, not two but three, as hard as it might be to think of a third.

Once this is done, and ONLY when this is done, can the person, who has been wanting to say what they don’t like about the idea, be allowed to express their concerns/negatives/criticism.

What is fascinating about this approach is that, with practice, the person who has to initially think about three positive things starts to become a more positive person with life in general.

When dealing with young people, they are more flexible than adults, and can adapt to thinking positive, and what they like about ideas. So, if you fit into this age category or consider yourself to be young at heart, then introduce this technique to your repertoire and watch how much more positive YOU become.

Please note that I am not advocating that we do not criticise any more, because there will be things that we don’t like about what people say or the ideas that people have. What I would like to see more of, is that INITIALLY we look for the good in what people are saying before we start our negative thoughts.

So back to the students that were tackling this business challenge. I decided to tell them what I have just explained to you. Interestingly, they liked what they heard and decided to go back over all the ideas and write on a flipchart what they liked about each idea.

It was quite amazing how this was very easy for a few of the ideas but more difficult for the majority. A vote was then taken on each of the ideas, with those that had more positives said about them, gaining most of the votes. A winning idea was easily forthcoming.

So, my challenge to you is, “Would you like to become more positive in life?” If the answer is yes, then I would recommend that you adopt the technique described in this article, and see how your friends notice a difference in you.

You won’t regret it. GOOD LUCK!!


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