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Keeping Positive Self-Talk in Uncertain Times

As leaders, we are all facing uncertainty in what our future will look like. Whether you are considering options for the new school year or deciding whether or not to return to the office, big decisions bring forward doubt. Sometimes we are our own worst critics as our self-talk shifts and we begin to focus on what could go wrong, or what we've done wrong. We invite each of you, once you make your decision, to give yourself grace and continue focus on the positives as your situation unfolds. This is deeper and more practical than a "just stay positive" attitude; it's a discipline that can be applied and enhance your leadership capabilities and relationships.

In the practice of Appreciative Inquiry, and in the book Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement there is a model called "Flipping" that presents a way to shift from focusing on what is undesirable to focusing on the outcomes you want. This is important because what you focus on grows.

  • The first step is to name it. What is the problem, concern, feeling, situation, or thing you don't want?

  • The second step is to flip it. What is the positive or opposite feeling, situation, or thing you do want?

  • And the third step is to frame it. What positive outcome would occur if the flip were true? What is your desired outcome?

When you notice feelings of stress and doubt, we invite you to take a few minutes to reflect and practice making a flip. 

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