Here’s the deal: negativity isn’t all bad.
It’s important to start off acknowledging that because often positivity pieces come off as Polyanaesque sermons delivering sickly sweet doses of inspiration. The truth is, there is a time and place for negative emotions and some times when they can even be, well, positive.
For example, one study found that short-term stress can actually boost a person’s immune system. In our ancestors, negative emotions such as anger and fear could greatly increase the chances of survival when confronting predators.
That said, today many of the situations that provoke our fight-or-flight responses aren’t life-threatening. Reacting with negative emotions, therefore, is often inappropriate and/or counterproductive.
Put on a Happy Face
There could be a lot happening at your dealership right now that has you feeling anything but giddy. Whether business is slow, team members slacking, or clients frustrating; however, there are good reasons to make positivity at the top of your list of best practices.
- Allows you to see all your options. Negativity actually narrows your focus, which can lead to you missing the forest for the trees. Think of negativity-based solutions as bandaids on a broken arm and positivity-inspired ones as having access to a full team of university researchers and a top quality medical team.
- Encourages intrinsic motivation. Negativity rarely leads to initiative. Fostering positive thinking as a best practice at your dealership should lead to a happier, more self-satisfied team, revved up to get the best results possible.
- Makes you more productive. A British experiment showed that productivity increased by 12% when employees were routinely given little “happiness shocks”–snacks, comedy clip breaks, and other small things that made them feel happy.
- Can lead to success. Which came first: happiness or success? Conventional wisdom says success breeds happiness, but a 2005 study suggests the inverse. So the more positive you and your team are, the more successful you’re likely to be.
Send in the clowns
So how exactly do you go about increasing positivity at your dealership? Here are three suggestions to get you started.
- Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is currently experiencing popularity, and for good reason: it works. People who practice forms of mindfulness, like meditation, are more equipped to manage tough, stressful situations. Luckily, if you’re new to mindfulness and want to incorporate meditation at your dealership, there are hundreds of great resources online.
- Take time out for play. Setting aside time to relax with your team can pay off in spades. Think of fun, relaxing games that build comradery, get the blood flowing and inspire laughter. A pingpong table is one good investment, so are some footballs. Ask your team what activities they might enjoy during scheduled downtime.
- Share little triumphs. Keep your team on the lookout for little moments of positivity. You can do this by encouraging them to share their triumphs or the small things that have made them happy over the course of the day or week. Sharing can be done at the beginning of meetings to set a positive tone, through a shared group chat, or bulletin board.
Whatever you do, make it a priority to keep the good times rolling!