Pivot to the positive for better results

Did you know a pivot to the positive is the best way to solve your problems?

This may sound counterintuitive but, I assure you, it is correct. Time spent talking about, worrying about, and stressing about what’s not working is like a multiplier for what’s not working.  
The more time and energy you give to the negative, the less likely you are to actually remedy issues and improve your results. This is why effective leadership coaches quickly move clients away from problem talk, with questions like: 

  • What makes this an important issue today?
  • What has worked for you in the past?
  • What will be different, for you, when you accomplish this goal? 

Answers to those types of questions begin the pivot to the positive. As clients talk through their responses, confidence builds, motivation for action begins, and impactful possibilities start to unfold. The shift is palpable, and nearly always met with an obvious sense of relief – even signs of joy! But, no client gets there until he stops talking about the problems themselves. 
This same concept works for groups. In fact, one of my favorite group activities is black-boarding everything that is good within a team. There’s only one rule: It has to be good – no “buts” aloud. 
When clients pivot to the positive, great endorphins are released. It also sets a powerful springboard for forward-looking strategy and action planning. The perfect frame of mind to remedy issues, and remove the barriers to achieving their goals, emerges.

Shifting into the positive opens space for teams and individuals to:

  • Communicate openly and effectively
  • Collaborate strategically and tactically 
  • Realize the motivation to actually do things differently (which has to happen to achieve a better result!)

The guided pivot serves as a reality check for clients too. They invariably produce their own evidence to support more is actually “working”– on the grand scale – than not. This revelation is comforting, unifying, and confidence building. 

So, how much time are you spending rehashing the negative?

If you are an organizational leader, I would not be surprised to hear @ 80%. The most common complaint clients share is they don’t have time to focus on priorities, because the “issues” get all of their attention. And the cycle continues…The more attention given the problem itself, the bigger, more frustrating and, sometimes, more hopeless it seems. Problems just don’t get resolved by giving them all your energy.

Today I’ll close with a 3-part challenge and a few  quick tips.

The challenge:

  1. Notice how much time and energy you are spending on your “issues”.
  2. Experiment with intentionally investing more time in positive, forward-looking, thoughts and conversation.
  3. Compare how you feel, and the results you get.

Tips for pivoting to the positive:

  1. Identify what’s good right now. Hint: This means things you legitimately feel good about at this time.
  2. Set a time limit for how long you will talk about/ think about “the problem” itself before shifting to what you want instead. Hint: Accountability partners help keep you moving forward v. looking back. Coaches make great partners! (I know some good ones.)
  3. Identify what will be different when your goal is realized. Hint: Notice how you feel when you talk about what the change will do for you. Solving problems and overcoming challenges feels good! 
  4. Create time-bound action plans while you are feeling the momentum of the pivot to the positive.

Here’s the good news: Problems do get solved with a pivot to the positive. This is actually a universal law. Like attracts like, and success breeds success. If you want better results, pour more energy into the positive. 

Want more information on how to capitalize on a positive focus at work?
Call or email us to learn about our executive coaching and leadership development programs.

Similar Posts



I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION, UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. As Americans, if we had the privilege to be born here, we learn this pledge as children and recite it all our lives.  The…

One Thing to Help You Sail Through The Season

One Thing to Help You Sail Through The Season

I write on Mondays. At least I intend to write on Mondays. However, it’s five-o’clock and I’m just now putting my first words to paper. I’ve been wrestling with what to write about, this Thanksgiving week. We all need to take time to feel gratitude and take note of what we are thankful for, of course. I…

Don’t Give up! 5 Tips To Meet Your Goals

Don’t Give up! 5 Tips To Meet Your Goals

An executive, whom I greatly admired, once told me “if you aren’t meeting them by June, you will not meet your goals for the entire year.”  I took those words to heart and for the next 2 years, with great stress and feelings of inadequacy, I mentally gave up on any goals my organization was…