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Creating a positive workplace

By: Donna Cardillo, MA, RN, CSP, FAAN

Countless research studies show that having a positive attitude leads to good health, happiness, and feelings of wellbeing and self-worth. Research also tells us that positivity in the workplace helps everyone feel better about themselves and coming into work, experience more energy and professional pride, and be more productive. So how can you be a catalyst for positivity in your workplace? Here are 5 easy ways.

Get pumped up and positive

Before heading into work, take a few minutes to breathe deeply and focus on how you want your day to go. Set an intention such as joy, patience, gratitude, etc. Where your intention goes, your energy flows. Listen to an inspirational book or music during your commute. The positive attitude and energy you bring to work will rub off on others.

Set the tone

Address everyone by name and give them an upbeat greeting such as: “It’s a great day to save some lives!” or “Let’s make it a good one!” or “Have I told you lately how much I enjoy working with you?” You set the example for others to follow. In a world with so much negativity, people are hungry for positive messages.

Smile often

Whether you’re feeling it or not, put a smile on your face, even when you’re alone. Smiling can change your own mood (or keep the momentum going) and shift the energy for others as needed. It is a powerful tool to create and promote positive feelings and a sense of calm.

Recognize and appreciate

There is nothing more important than acknowledging what others do and thanking them for it. Whether they are lending a helping hand or just doing what they do every day in their usual efficient way, stop to let them know you notice and appreciate them. Focus on the good in others. Express gratitude liberally.

Commit random acts of kindness

Bring flowers in for the unit clerk. Answer a call bell for a fellow nurse. Bring in a latte for a coworker. Treat a new employee to lunch while at work. Anonymously post positive quotes and messages where others will see them. Spread happiness.

When you choose to be positive, giving, loving, and kind to others, it will come back to you in spades. When you treat others with respect and compassion, you’ll see both your personal and professional life filled with mutual feelings of good wishes and respect. Practice these 5 simple yet powerful techniques and be a positivity ambassador in your workplace.

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP, FAAN is known as The Inspiration Nurse.  She is a powerhouse of energy, wisdom, and humor and has been referred to as a positive force of nature who lights a path for others to follow. Donna is co-host of the Talent Brand Show podcast, the original “Dear Donna” columnist at Nurse.com, and a sought-after keynote speaker. She is a fierce advocate for nurses and for nursing empowerment.



Donna is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN), a certified meditation teacher, Reiki Master, and Certified Forest Therapy Guide. She runs annual retreats for nurses: Empowered Nurse, Enlightened Practice®. Donna is a member of the advisory boards of the National Nurses in Business Association and the Institute for Nursing in NJ. She is a life-long Jersey Girl with attitude and chutzpah to spare!  Learn more about Donna at www.DonnaCardillo.com.


You can also find her on FacebookLinkedInTwitterInstagramYoutube, and Pinterest.

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Gracias

  • A workplace almost always stresses. And it happens that when you come to work in an excellent mood, in a moment you can feel irritation, frustration or sadness. There are always a lot of reasons why the mood goes into minus: disruption of the delivery time, reprimand of the bosses, not working computer, quarrel with a colleague, aggressive client, delayed salary … A very funny and effective method proposed by psychologists is to draw your problems. This can be a portrait of the boss, a bursting bomb or an abstract monster. On paper, all this will no longer seem so scary to you, and the result of such creativity will undoubtedly cause a smile. If possible, listen to your favorite music. It always cheers you up, returning you to pleasant thoughts and memories. Good luck!


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