The Power of Thoughts: 4 Steps to Improve Business Outcomes with Your Mind

Did you know the power of thoughts can have a giant impact on your organization’s success?
Zohreh Yamin

Did you know you can use your thoughts to make big differences in organizational outcomes?

It is one of those concepts that sounds oh so simple, but can be oh so powerful. What we think of ourselves, our team members, and overall organizational capabilities is a potentially untapped resource that can help us accomplish even greater success.

Using the Power of Thoughts to Improve Outcomes at Work 

Just like the human body, or an ecosystem, an organization is a living entity; we have multiple systems that must work in order for us to be well. In the same way, an organization has multiple systems and capabilities that we need to do well in order to succeed.

Your teams have capabilities in multiple areas, such as technical and people capabilities. Our thoughts are one of the many components, or capabilities, that play an important role in workplace success.

This is where the power of thought comes in. Just as thoughts can greatly impact quality of life, they have a dramatic impact on organizational effectiveness. To perform our capabilities most effectively, we need to believe in ourselves as leaders, and we need to believe in our team and our collective capability to function and achieve.

Believing in yourself and your team places you in the solution position, which opens the door for success and accomplishments.   

How to Use the Power of Thought at Work

So how can you harness the power of thought to find solutions and achieve your goals? Here are 4 steps:

Step 1. Become a thought scientist.

Commit to studying your perspective and changing it when needed to achieve your desired outcome. You will need to rally together some supportive people at work or in your personal life to help you with this commitment. James Clear’s book Atomic Habits is a great resource to use by yourself or with your team as you work to change your perspective. It provides fantastic information on how to leverage science to create change.

Step 2. Focus on the positive.

The Appreciative Inquiry model in psychology brings home the point that we can most effectively generate solutions from a positive feeling / thinking state. It’s important to focus both on what you want to achieve and what you are building on (i.e., what is going right today). Here are some ways to do that:

  • Tell people what they are doing right (this includes you).
  • Designate a specific daily time to reflect on what is going well and how you want to build on it (i.e., what you are creating).
  • Start each new project celebrating who and what brought you to this point, and the people who will help finish the project.
  • Celebrate small and big wins with your team (i.e., have lots of “win” parties – really!)

Step 3. Think Positive.

What you think about yourself and your team will have a direct impact on how strong and confident you feel and come across as a leader. Team members know not only if you are having a bad day, but if you are feeling insecure about your own abilities or the outcome of a project.

So be diligent in weeding out negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. For example, if you find yourself thinking, “Why didn’t I handle that differently or better,” stop yourself and replace it with, “I learned from that experience. I am growing as a leader.” Then think about what you will do differently next time.

What you think about yourself and your team will have a direct impact on how strong and confident you feel and come across as a leader. Team members know not only if you are having a bad day, but if you are feeling insecure about your own abilities or the outcome of a project.

I have lost count of the times someone told me something negative about a team member and said, “But I would never say that to them.” When it is someone I am mentoring, I will break it to them that their peer will know. Someone will tell them directly, or the person will feel your energy and attitude towards them.

So what you think matters—what you think about yourself, your team and the probability of success for a given project or the overall success of your organization.

Step 4. Use positive language.

Our thoughts and words are interconnected. How we think influences how we speak, and vice versa. Weed out negative language and replace it with positive, can-do language. How do you do that? Take every opportunity to tell people what they are doing well, and be specific.

Additionally, try to avoid saying “but,” as in, “X works so hard, but…” Instead, try, “X works so hard, and with some additional mentoring, will be an even greater asset.” And finally, if you do say something discouraging, reframe it and focus on how to make things better. You can never over-emphasize the positive!

Celebrate what is right. Attribute positive intention. Use your thoughts, words and actions to show people that you believe in their capabilities. Build on that and watch the magic happen.

At The Human Priority, we believe in high collaboration, high trust, high respect. We believe in creating workplaces where you can have co-conversations and a sense of community. This is what creates the Workplace Fairytale! This is where people come together and do awesome, great, phenomenal things together. We can help you accomplish this! Learn more about our business consulting services.

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