The Art of Positive Conversations at Work

We often focus on how to handle difficult conversations at work. But it’s important to also practice positivity in the workplace. After all, positive conversations can improve employee engagement and wellbeing.

So, how can you initiate a positive culture in your workplace? What are the best practices for having positive conversations at work?

The benefits of positive workplace interaction

Humans are social creatures - it’s only natural that we crave interaction and relationships in the workplace. As we develop good working relationships, we’re not only satisfying our human nature, but we’re also enjoying our work more, feel more creative and focus on new opportunities.

In fact, studies have shown that focusing on positive thinking in the workplace has huge effects on employee wellbeing. A positive and optimistic mindset may even reduce early death and cardiovascular issues.

Positive work relationships also influence our professional circles. Customers, suppliers or key stakeholders are essential to a business’s success, so it’s important to maintain positive relations with key figures to sustain business growth.

How to practice positive conversations at work

As you strive to create a more positive workplace, there are simple practices that you can apply to achieve good conversations at work. Here are four ways to promote positive conversations at work:

Appreciate others

Showing appreciation to your employees can make a huge difference in employee morale. Genuinely compliment your employees when they do something well. Acknowledge their achievements in meetings or offer small rewards for a job well done. By demonstrating your appreciation, you are opening doors to great work relationships and conversations.

Avoid gossip

Office politics and gossip are harmful to work relationships. Gossiping causes mistrust and animosity, so avoid participating in gossip. Manage office conflict by talking to people directly about the problem. By being clear and direct with the person you have a conflict with, it displays maturity and can build trust in the working relationship.

Listen actively

The art of active listening is easy to learn, but hard to master. On average, people only remember between 25 and 50 per cent of what they hear. By becoming a better listener, you can improve your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. Give the speaker your undivided attention. Use your body language to show that you are engaged. Be open and honest in your response. Through active listening, you can open deeper and more positive conversations at work.

Ask positive questions

Start positive conversations in your workplace by asking positive questions. This will allow you to learn what makes your employees feel good and discover what they’re passionate about. Ask questions like, “How was your day?”, “Are you doing something fun this week?” or “What’s going right for you at work?”. Asking simple questions like these can build care, support and trust with your employees.

As managers, you must remember that employees are people first. By approaching your employees with these positive practices, you can build a better work environment and promote your employees’ wellbeing.