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4 Ways A Team Can Choose Its Own Attitude

Team morale is an inside job – not an outside job.

Have you ever gone home at night and complained about a peer who stirs up trouble? Maybe they don’t work very hard or they show up late. Maybe they gossip or blow up anything positive with their own negative attitudes. Unfortunately, these attitudes are contagious. We all know these people, as every organization has one. But fortunately, these individuals are the outliers.

90% of the people we work with are doing 90% of their jobs pretty darn well. Yet, our focus seems to be fixed be on the 10% who drive us crazy. It is easy for us to focus on the negative. We all do it.

As I partner with law enforcement agencies across the country, one thing stands out to me. The negativity they face from select individuals in the public and from the media is taking a toll on morale.

Most agencies are understaffed. Many have trouble finding qualified candidates to fill training academy classes. And many young officers feel the pull to quit after a short time. Why? It isn’t because these are not fine men and women. It is because of the negativity they continuously receive from outside influences.

What is the solution? These agencies cannot change individuals outside of the organization. But, they can rally behind one another from within. No matter the industry or organization, we must be sure to provide Positivity from within first. Control what you can control.

The word encouragement means, “to give Courage.” Courage comes from the French word Coeur which means, “heart.” When we encourage someone, we give them heart. Conversely, when we discourage someone, we take heart away from them.

My challenge to all of us—is to stop waiting for encouragement to come from the outside. Begin by giving heart to each other.

4 Ways To Encourage From Within:

1. Find two peers, each day, who are doing a good job. Let them know what you see.

2. Thank someone—in front of others—who helped you do your job today.

3. Focus your conversations on the 90% who are doing a great job.

4. Celebrate small wins within your work group.

None of these ideas need a strategic plan or an increase in budget. They simply require team members to recognize the fact morale is an inside job.

While we are discussing such an important topic, I want to take a second to personally ask anyone reading this to stop and encourage our public servants in law enforcement. They are the ones willing to put themselves on the line every day to serve. Take time to greet them. Smile at them. Thank them for being willing to do whatever it takes. Be an encouragement to them.

These are uncertain times. Whether you are in law enforcement, big business, small business or the non-profit world—your encouragement matters. We need leaders who help us to shift our focus and exercise Positivity.

Thank you for all of the hidden and unseen ways you do that for your teams, families and organizations. You are making a significant impact every day.

Dig Deep Questions:

  • How many times did you encourage your teammates last week?

  • Who can you encourage today/this week?


Taking responsibility and exercising Positivity is a lifelong journey for not only you, but your team. We want to partner with you as you make Positivity part of your organizational culture. When it comes to remembering the definition of Positivity, let us help to make it easy to keep it visible.

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