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Feeling Negative including Anger Due to the Current Environment? 6 Keys to Leading Positive Change

July 8, 2021

Feeling Negative including Anger Due to the Current Environment? 6 Keys to Leading Positive Change

Article Written by Denise Young, WIL National Diversity and Inclusion Advisor and CEO and Consultant of Tiger’s Eye Advisory Group, a people-focused business solutions company that values collaboration and empowerment. Denise believes in empowering people to be their best and is a strong advocate for Diversity and Inclusion. She creates collaborative work spaces where “everyone is at the table”. She has a Bachelor of Management and a Masters of Arts in Communication and Technology from University of Alberta.

August 18, 2021: Between Covid, the wild fires burning in areas of Canada and the USA, racism and other challenges we face, there are several feelings we may be experiencing; negative, sad, angry and hopeless. How do we move past this? Over the last month I have been sad, angry, hurt and feeling hopeless. Over the last week, I remembered some of the tools I used when I was in this state as it is not beneficial to me or anyone around me. I had enough of my “poor me” and blaming thoughts and behaviours. In my work life, I have responsibilities to my clients to be the best I can. When negative feelings or blaming behaviours come into play, it is difficult to lead in a professional manner.

An important first step for me is to acknowledge where I am at and not suppress my feelings but move through them. Everytime we go through these phases we build resiliency. It is okay to feel how we do, but what impacts and what wake do we leave when we let our negative energy take over? When I make a “unique” decision, I give my head a shake and think “well, Denise, that wasn’t very nice”. One time I went back into a store, so embarrassed about my behaviour, and apologized. Trust me, it was hard and the self talk that went through my head was ridiculous and funny (of course after). The lady was so appreciative and I was in shock as to how she could forgive me. This was kindness at its best and made me realize we all do things we are not proud of, but an important part is to acknowledge, and make it right such as an authentic apology.

This article is inspired by 6 positive keys to leading positive change, a TEDTalks by Rosabeth Moss Kanter.

Depending on your role, you can tailor these questions and the below six tips/keys to work or your personal life. Consider:

What kind of workplace do you want to work in?

How can you help to create that workplace?

Cynicism is easy but positivity takes hard work and discipline…it’s challenging!

Here are 6 simple keys to how we can influence positive change

Show up – if you don’t show up, nothing happens. Be there. Trust that your presence matters and can make a difference.

● Presence makes a difference

● Interesting things happen when you show up…different outcomes can happen.Think of a time when you said I don’t want to go to:___ and you list many reasons why and then you drag yourself to this place and after you think “I am glad I showed up and if I didn’t I wouldn’t have “made this connection”, received this opportunity etc.

● Your perspective is important and you can add value.

● But you need to show up; both physically AND mentally and emotionally.

Being there makes a difference but only the starting point…

Speak up – Use your voice. Say what needs to be said. Ask the questions that need to be asked. Shape the agenda. Re-frame issues and give new perspectives.

Have you ever been in a meeting and someone speaks up? Maybe someone who is usually quiet perhaps, doesn’t say much, but this time they speak up and it changes the WHOLE conversation!

● Words have power

● Power to influence and power to trigger emotion

● Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard

● Your voice will enrich the conversation

● Good decision making occurs when we hear and understand multiple perspectives and consider them all

● Don’t have to be a formal leader, (person who was influence is the person who can name the problem and come up with the solution)

Look up – Have a higher vision, bring values to the team. Know what you stand for. Elevate people out of the weeds and to a bigger picture of why our work is important.

● It’s easy to get caught up in our own world

● Look at bigger vision (higher standards, now what you stand for and elevate others)

● More than what is changing in my space

● Outcomes vs me

Team up – Everything goes better with partners. Don’t try to do it alone. Build a sense of partnership.

The complexity of modern life and work is mind boggling.

● Individuals, no matter how smart, cannot meet all the demands of the modern workplace

● But when we team up and collaborate we can do things together that we cannot achieve alone

● Think of the Gestalt Theory – the whole is MORE than the sum of it’s parts - example – 10 flashing lights mean little until they are arranged to form a directional arrow to guide traffic flow…


● Everything goes better with partners

● Better as a team than an individual

● This allows us to provide opportunities to collaborate, create synergies which provide better outcomes to the organization and to citizens.

Never give up – Persist until done. Everything looks like a failure in the middle. It will take longer than you imagine, keep going anyway. Be flexible in your approach, but inflexible in your persistence.

● This key is about the fact that all worthwhile endeavours come with a “degree of difficult” or challenges (Find strength to persist)

● But please remember that we all have long histories of successfully overcoming all kinds of obstacles in our lives

● They are a test of our resolve and our characters but we usually overcome them one way or another (Find a way around obstacles)

● Don’t fixate on the obstacle….focus on how you will succeed DESPITE the challenges (Be resilient)

Lift others up – Share success, share credit and give back once you have a success

● Is there someone in your workplace or your life that makes you feel inspired, positive, and excited about life when you interact with them?

● We forget a lot about our interactions with others but we usually remember how they make us feel.

● How do you want others to remember the way you made them feel? (The wake you want to leave).

● Consider making a conscious choice to share success and leave a wake that is uplifting and positive (Build support rather than lose support).

● You have the choice of how you want to leave your interactions with peers.

In summary these are the six keys tips of building positive interactions

● Show up (nothing gets done if you don’t show up)

● Speak up (power of voice)

● Look up (look at bigger vision)

● Team up (better together than as individuals)

● Never give up (resilient)

● Lift others up (wake you leave)

Connect with Denise:

LinkedIN: Denise Young

Facebook; Tigers Eye Advisory Group


Article written by Denise Young, WIL National Diversity and Inclusion Advisor and is a consultant and educator for Tiger’s Eye Advisory Group.



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