I just received a phone call from someone I met in the summer at a Bar-B-Q.

Quite honestly I had forgotten about this particular conversation until the phone call today. You see, I had given this person a personal challenge and asked him to try it for 3 weeks and let me know if there was a difference.

John approached me as someone had told him that I may be able to help him with his sales team.

He was at his wits end because his sales team had gone negative, they were selling less and he could see his ship had sprung a major leak and was going down.

I asked John how he was responding to his sinking ship.

He said he didn’t enjoy talking to his team and that all he could do was tell them to get over it.

I really didn’t want to work at the BBQ, yet I saw he was desperate, so I gave him an exercise to show negativity the door.

If your team is experiencing any negativity try this too…

1. Get an index card for each sales rep.

2. Place their name at the top.

3. List all of the good qualities for each person.

4. Carry the cards around each day.

5. Look at the cards and any chance you get as you communicate with each rep- comment about one of the good qualities.

6. Do this every day for 3 weeks and let me know if you see a difference.

When I shared this idea with John, he snickered and said that finding good qualities would be difficult for one person in particular. I asked him to find something – even if it was that they had a nice smile, or a good voice or showed up every day. It didn’t matter. You can find something good in everyone, even if it’s only one thing.

When John called me long after his 3-week experiment, he was amazed at how the negativity had left the building! The attitude and atmosphere had changed, the energy was different and he could see things were turning around. People were collaborating on strategy, new ideas and new ways to bring in business.

It is amazing how focusing on the positive will shift people’s thoughts, attitude and behavior. If negativity is in your building and you’d like to show it the exit, I challenge you to take this 3-week challenge and I look forward to reading about your success in the Comments section.

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