American College of Healthcare Executives
December 2012
In This Issue

President's Message
Message from Your ACHE Regent - Fall 2012
5 Ways to Keep Your Organization Upbeat
National News - Winter 2013

Chapter Officers


Samuel B. Seifert, MHA
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center  


Wendy Hicks, RN, MSN
Novant Health, Forsyth Medical Center 


Vivian Langley, MHA
Alamance Regional Medical Center

Sherry Nance, MHA, RT(R)(N), CNMT
Cone Health 

Anthony Potter, CHPA-F, CPP, FAAFS, FACHE
Novant Health  

Immediate Past President

Pamela M. Sinclair, FACHE
Advanced Home Care

5 Ways to Keep Your Organization Upbeat

Optimistic people are happier and more successful than their pessimistic counterparts. So says Martin Seligman, PhD, known as the “father of positive psychology.” For example, in one of his studies, salespeople with the highest optimism scores outsold their pessimistic counterparts by 20 to 40 percent.

But it’s not always easy to stay upbeat when your industry and workforce are facing significant change. Here are five mental toughness strategies that will boost optimism at your organization:

1. Encourage self-evaluation. Ask team members to answer three questions every day: What am I doing well? What do I need to improve? How will I make this improvement?  Check in with a different worker each day. Talking to your people about their successes and their challenges—as well as your own—gives everyone a sense of forward movement, possibility and camaraderie.

2. Develop a team vision. What do you all want for the organization? Where do you expect it to be in a year? The more detailed the vision, the better. Post those goals where everyone can see them daily. Expectancy theory says: That which we focus on expands.

3. Develop a relentless solution focus. RSF is a technique that takes practice, but once you and your employees get the hang of it, it will have a dramatic effect on people’s mood and your organization’s success. RSF is one’s ability to quickly transform every problem-focused thought into a solution-focused thought.

4. Strive for any improvement, no matter how small. See even a tiny improvement in any situation as a win and part of the solution. That’s a positive mental technique that you can share and teach to others as well.

5. Teach them to “get it done.” Staying upbeat is more than just a set of thought processes. It’s also linked to discipline. Permeate your culture with the practice of finding a way to “get it done.” Employees gain optimism by knowing that they can control outcomes. They do that by tirelessly translating hope and confidence into success through disciplined action.

—Adapted from “5 ways to keep your business upbeat” by Jason Selk, EdD, Communication Briefings, December 2012; (800) 791-8699;

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