In this article I want to talk about a personality trait of our that will draw people to our influence because it causes people to admire us and admiration is a powerful force in influence.
The personality trait? Optimism. Optimism is attractive to others. People want to be around and follow optimistic people. And frankly, the Christian church ought to be the most optimistic group in the world. This doesn’t mean that we aren’t realistic or that we downplay sin, but that we know that “God works all thing for the good for those who love him.” Rom 8:28 We’ve read the back of the book and we know that it all ends with Christ on the throne!
So why are so many leaders pessimistic? I think it comes down to either bad theology, a bad worldview, or just bad habits of complaining all the time. Pessimism repels most people though. People want to follow leaders who are going to lead them to somewhere better!
The question is, would people describe you as an optimist or a pessimist? Would the describe you as positive or negative to be around? The more you can change your character to become more optimistic, the more people will allow you to influence them.
"Speak positively and optimistically because optimism breeds admiration from others."
Let’s take something very simple. Let’s talk about the words you use on a daily basis. The quickest way for someone to see if you are positive or negative is to simply listen to you talk. When someone asks you how you are doing do you respond by saying, “Pretty good under the circumstances?” No one wants to follow a leader who is living under the circumstances! They want to follow a leader who has overcome the circumstances and is living the victorious Christian life regardless of the circumstances! People admire others who can live victoriously in spite of the circumstances.
The Bible tells us that “the tongue has the power of life and death.” Pr. 18:21 Are you using how you speak to bring life to others? Are you speaking positively and optimistically? If so, you are gaining influence because people admire positive, optimistic people. Zig Ziglar, the famed Christian motivational speaker, used to say, “You can brighten a room when you walk in, or you can brighten a room when you walk out. You choose!” People who are optimistic brighten every room they walk into!
So here is some homework: Simply listen to yourself talk for the next week. Are you speaking positively? People are listening and they respond based on what they hear from you!