The Culture of Positive Thinking at the Workplace
Small business owners need to emphasize positive values to improve employee performance and workplace atmosphere


I met Peter Frayle, a well-known Spanish Psychologist, more than twenty-five years ago, when I was the manager of a non-for-profit organization in Colombia. At the time he was introducing a new and innovative idea to small business and community leaders covering: the importance of promoting self-appreciation in the workplace to improve the productivity performance of employees and organizations through a better work environment.

While trying to help small communities get along in some parts of Asia where he lived as a Jesuit priest, he realized that all the workshops and counseling group activities emphasized negative attitudes. The objective was to make people conscious of mistakes to make corrections and solve their problems together with workmates and colleagues.

He was quite uncomfortable with those methods as there was a lot of grievance and distress involved in the process. Each person had to go through a painful self-evaluation process that included reliving negative actions and reactions and blameworthy behavior. Frayle thought there had to better a way to achieve change management.  A means to behavioral change as more positive and proactive. He realized it would be far better if positive energy preferences were created for people for open-mindedness of self-acceptance and to accept and tolerate others.

A strategy was developed of emphasizing positive values instead of the negative experiences, like filling a basket with good energy instead of bad energy. Armed with this strategy Frayle proceeded to initiate a series of workshops where all focused on valuing their own positive attributes and lives. The results were immediate and overwhelming. The atmosphere of all of those groups immersed in stress and conflict morphed into solidarity and harmony ensued in a matter of days.

The simplicity of the infusion of good energy into the workplace served to proliferate an atmosphere where employees were motivated to work with creativity and enthusiasm. All that was  needed was a culture of assertive appreciation to entice individuals to be better, to help others, to work together and to learn from each other spontaneously.

Insights on Positive Energy in Small Business

Positive energy is the first step to build a creative and enthusiastic team. When an employee feels that he is valued and recognized for his talents, he will do his best without having to push himself because he feels that he is part of the organization. He will value himself and will learn to value and respect others, giving him the opportunity to develop his self-esteem and constructive relationships.

He will become used to seeing the positive aspect of every event at his job –and in his life- and will be able to react properly when the situation is not the best or when he faces a difficult customer or a difficult situation.

Any small business with a good atmosphere doesn’t face the conflicts in the way that others do simply because there is no conflict. By helping the employees be confident and accountable, most of the day-to-day problems are solved by themselves without major crisis. That is the value of a positive environment, where everybody gives their best to help the organization grow and succeed.

Next page: Where does a small business positive culture start?


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