Assume Positive Intent | FOW #24

Work from the assumption that people are good, fair, and honest. Set aside your own judgments or preconceived notions and give people the benefit of the doubt. Look for the positive intent in their actions and communications.

Self-fulfilling prophecies are incredibly powerful influencers, in your own behavior, that of others and of your company culture.

I think we can all agree that if we believe we can do something, and continually visualize ourselves doing it, we are far more likely to achieve it. Conversely, if we believe we will fail, chances are high we will do so.

What about the self-fulfilling prophecies we hold for others?

If you are a high-achieving executive, you most likely had more than one parent, teacher or mentor who believed in you and whose faith you worked hard to justify and reward.

Hopefully, you too have select children, students, employees and/or individuals you are mentoring with whom you’ve placed your faith in their success. You believe that they will achieve their positive goals and have communicated that belief, on the assumption that your belief may be a factor in that success.

Think how powerful that same practice could be if applied to everyone else.

When first introduced to someone, we try to read how they perceive us, and respond accordingly.

If we are greeted with genuine warmth, we tend to reciprocate that warmth, quickly assuming they are good people with positive intentions. Conversely, if we are greeted with dismissiveness, judgement, indifference or rudeness, we also tend to mirror that behavior.

Practice applying this philosophy proactively, rather than reactively.

The next time you are about to meet someone, think positively about that individual as you approach; your greeting will reflect that positive thought and likely produce a positive reaction.

Taken to the next level, if you assume all individuals with whom you interact to be honest, with good intentions, you are far more likely to elicit the behavior you wish to see.

Effective leadership necessitates belief in yourself, your team and your associates. Practice positive assumptions and preconceived notions and watch them become self-fulfilling prophecies!

I would appreciate hearing of your experience with this practice – comment below to share your experiences!

With proactive positivity,

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