Tag: Positive Thinking

Build a Stronger Team Using Anticipatory Reality

Build a Stronger Team Using Anticipatory Reality

Anticipatory reality is helpful in team building because it makes the team focus on the future and what the team wants to accomplish. One of the first steps of anticipatory reality is creating an image of the future and determining what can help the team get there. We can change things, add new themes, and make goals – we are constantly fashioning our anticipatory reality.

Imagining a Successful Future Will Affect the Present

We know that our past does not always identify our future. But planning our future can affect the team’s  present. Thinking ahead to a successful future can increase the positivity in your team today and raise their confidence. When they focus on the successes they want to achieve and imagine them coming true, it can give them great hope for the future, which in turn gives them hope for today. The team can stay positive by knowing that they can achieve that successful future and always keep a positive attitude about reaching team goals.


Controlling Negative Anticipation

Many of us are the type of people who automatically assume the worst in any situation. We start to anticipate anything that can go wrong and try to determine how we would handle anything that comes up. But if a team can learn to control these negative anticipations, they can begin to see any situation from the positive side. When the team members view the positive aspects of a situation, they feel more confident about their ability to handle them. Because no matter how big or scary a situation may seem, remaining positive and changing how they view the problem can make anything possible.


  • Watch for hidden negative thoughts or assumptions
  • Avoid jumping to conclusions
  • Realize the problem is in the situation – not you

Current Decisions Will Be Influenced Positively

The decisions your team make today can influence how they see things later. When they limit their negative anticipations and concentrate on creating a positive outlook, their current decisions and thoughts begin to develop into a positive form of thinking, which can improve our overall confidence of the team. Worrying about what may or may not happen or what could go wrong in a situation can drain a team and make the team members feel as though they don’t have any hope. But if they change their thoughts today and limit the negativity they  allow in their planning, their decisions can be influenced by positivity and will help them make better choices.


  • More confidence in your decisions
  • Less negative or anxious feelings
  • Positive outlook on future decisions

Related: Decision Making Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Base It on Data and Real Examples

One of the negative things about anticipatory reality is that team members  often base their thoughts and conclusions on things that they have heard or have over-played in our own heads. They begin to think about the worst thing that could happen or anything that could go wrong, but they have nothing to base it upon. Instead, the team should always focus on the facts of a problem and realize what is actually there.


  • “Word of mouth” stories
  • The “maybe” or “what if” possibilities
  • Dramatized outcomes or over-reactions


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Change the Way Your Team Thinks

One of the simplest ways to relieve stress in your team and help team members feel better about themselves, is to change the way they think about things in their lives. If team members hide behind negative thoughts and allow their environment to make them sad or depressed, they may never have the drive to reach for team goals.

Shifting from “What’s Wrong?” to “What’s Right?”

One of the first things that can ruin a positive attitude is looking at a situation and only noticing the negative aspects, or the “What’s Wrong” side. A pessimistic attitude won’t get anyone very far. When presented with a problem, take a few minutes and look at both sides of the problem. Make a mental list of everything that is positive about the situation before touching on the negative aspects. You’ll find that any situation won’t appear as bad as we think when we notice the positive first.

Keys to shifting the thoughts of your team:

  • Avoid the “all or nothing” thinking – deciding a situation only has two sides.
  • Realize the difference between being right and being happy.
  • Avoid over-generalizing a situation – focus on details.

It’s Not Eliminating Mistakes-It’s Holding up Successes

A common misconception that people make is that being positive or progressive means they cannot make mistakes nor have faults. This, of course, is untrue. Mistakes happen all the time, and although they can sometimes be prevented, they cannot be stopped altogether. They key is for your team to learn from their mistakes and then focus on the successes that follow them.

When a child falls off their bike before learning to ride, we do not focus on how many times they fell, but celebrate when they ride down the sidewalk on their own. Being positive doesn’t mean your team eliminate mistakes or problems, they just learn to focus on the achievements they reach. Success leads to more success when the team is focused on the positive.

Positive Words Encourage Positive Thinking

From a young age we have learned that positive language has more effect on us than negativity. When we tell ourselves “I can’t do that” or “I’ll never finish this”, we normally find ourselves to be right. But if we use more positive and influential phrases and language, we find ourselves feeling more confident and ready to handle any situation. Positive words encourage positive thinking, so encourage your team to add some “I can…” and “I’m great” phrases to their vocabulary! Positivity is contagious, so don’t be afraid to share it with your team and encourage them to think positive too.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Using positive language:

  • Avoid negatives, such as “can’t” or “won’t”
  • Reassure yourself and remind yourself of your abilities
  • Compliment yourself – “Good job” and “Well done

Limit or Remove Negative Phrasing

As we’ve said before, positive words encourage positive thinking. The same goes for negative phrasing – when we allow ourselves to use negative language, our thoughts become negative. Studies have shown that there are five key phrases that any person should remove from their vocabulary in order to ban negative language.

  • Just – This word limits our accomplishments and devalues our skills.
  • Try – This word can often give us an excuse to fail. We will ‘try’ to accomplish something, but if we don’t succeed then it’s not our fault. We either do something or we don’t.
  • Can’t – This word is often used when a person does not want to take the effort to reach a goal or accomplishment. Replace this word with a mental action plan on how you can act on your goals.  
  • Impossible – This word is normally used when we are faced with something big and overwhelming. However, anything can seem possible if broken down into smaller, more attainable jobs. Anything can be accomplished when we take things one step at a time.
  • Someday – This word can have the same problem as ‘try’ – it sets us up to allow failure. When we plan to reach our goals “someday”, we are giving ourselves permission to procrastinate. Set a timeline for your goals and stick to them.


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Build Your Team Using Appreciative Inquiry

Build Your Team Using Appreciative Inquiry

There are many techniques and practices that can be used with appreciative inquiry that anyone can use in their lives. Learning about appreciative inquiry not only benefits the team members, but the entire organization. It helps address ways to encourage positive ways of thinking instead of using negativity or even criticism.

What is Appreciative Inquiry?

The definition of appreciative inquiry is the ability to recognize the best in the team members and utilizing those strengths to discover new possibilities and results. Appreciative inquiry focuses on positive thinking and expresses ideas and opinions to reach an end result. What does that mean for you or your team? Appreciative inquiry in the team encourages team members to think positively, which in turn helps them to overcome their own negative thoughts to work harder and reach their own goals for better productivity.

Generating a Better Future

Appreciative inquiry helps build a vision for a better future by using questions to turn the person’s attention to their past, present and future successes. These questions generally focus on what the person enjoys about their surroundings and their current situations. Once these ideas have been identified, the individual can take these positive thoughts to turn toward the future and build a path to success. Since we learn from our past mistakes and choices, we can use questions and insights to decide what we can use to make the right choices later. The key is identifying what works for you, and how you can use them to your advantage to create a better future.

Ways to create your future today:

  • Determine your goals
  • Make a plan for them
  • Identify how appreciative inquiry can affect these goals and plans

Engaging Team Members in Positive Thought

One of the age-old ways of determining how a person views a situation is asking them if the glass is half full or half empty. Many pessimists will reply that the glass is half empty while opportunists will see the glass as half full. Even one pessimist in the team can hinder everyone else’s positive attitude, so it is important to engage every team member in positive thinking. When everyone avoids criticism and implements the ‘can do attitude’, it not only creates a pleasant work environment for everyone, but team members begin to feel better about themselves and take pride to finish any job with ease.

Engaging your team to think positive:

  • Encourage group discussions
  • Invite others to share their ideas and opinions
  • Make them focus on the positive side of things and avoid negative phrasings

Change the Person, Change the Organization

When team members take pride in themselves, they also take pride in their team.  But if they have negative feelings about where they work, it can show in their productivity. When you change how a person views or thinks about the team and their roles in it, you in turn change how the team is perceived as a whole. This is why it is always important to meet with team members and listen to what they have to say; value their ideas and opinions.

If the team members feel as though they are making a contribution to the team and are a part of the master plan, they will feel more inclined to think positively and alter the overall view of the team. With positive and reflective team members the team should then become a positive entity and provide a better environment for everyone.



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As You Think So You Are

Albert Einstein Quote

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
– Albert Einstein

If you are feeling as if life is not giving you what you want, then maybe a change in thinking is what you require. Remember that the input you receive determines your outlook, your outlook determines your output, and your output determines your outcome.

The good news is that we can choose what we feed our minds. Make sure that you feed your mind with positive, up-building material. Read motivational books, watch motivational dvd’s, attend motivational talks or listen to motivational recordings in the car while you are traveling. What goes into your mind on a consistent basis will soon be reflected in your actions.

The truth is that if we keep on thinking the way you have been thinking, we will keep on doing what we have been doing. If we keep on doing what we have been doing, we will keep on getting what we have been getting. Change your thoughts, to change your actions, to change your results.

Make a decision today to change to a positive mental diet which will make a permanent difference to your life.



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