“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

Do you like who you are and what you bring to the table? Are you proud of who you are and what you do? Do others enjoy your company? Do your co-workers benefit from your presence and contributions? Everyone brightens up the room. Some do so coming in, others do so on the way out. Which are you?

Why would the room brighten as you leave? Many factors or personality traits will lead to this negative reactive, so lets take a minute to discuss what not to do.

First, lets look at body language. Do you project energy and confidence, or does your slouched posture project fear, doubt, and insecurity? People tend to gravitate towards those who project positive energy and confidence, not uncertainty.

Secondly, are you a “Debbie Downer?” Do you have a problem for every solution? It’s great to challenge lines of thinking for the betterment of the organization. However, it’s another thing to consistently roll your eyes, project apathy, and shoot down ideas immediately after they are introduced. People do not want to associate with others who are “Debbie Downers.”

Thirdly, avoid the “this is the way it’s always been done” mentality. People will not want to work or associate with others who believe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. If you want to be seen as a positive light and attract others, you must be willing to learn and try new things. The world is constantly changing, and you’ll only be seen as a dark cloud if you refuse to adopt new practices.

A final note on how to avoid being a negative light, try at all costs to avoid being an “interruptor” and “one-upper.” No one likes someone who has to constantly be the center of attention. These are sure-fire ways to make people long for your exit.

Now that we know the behaviors to avoid, lets discuss how we can be a light and attract others.


First, encourage, encourage, and encourage. Be someone who lifts others up. Always be first to compliment the hard work that team members have shown. People are naturally drawn to those who encourage and uplift.

A second way to be a light is to smile more. It’s one of the simplest, yet most effective ways of communication. Most of our communication is nonverbal, and people are drawn to those who greet them with a warm smile and solid eye-contact.

Thirdly, listen more and talk less. In almost all of the books I read the authors discuss the art and value of real listening skills. (Not the listening skills shown in this video) It’s amazing but we build more clout and authority when we listen to others. By talking too much we actually drive our value down because people tend to tune us out. The less you say the better.

Lastly, if you want to be seen as a positive light, be the change. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Serve as the example of what positivity looks like in your workplace. Focus on bringing value while enhancing the environment. People love to laugh, and if you can bring laughter while adding value, you will be a positive light for others to follow.

“Be the positive light that the crowd follows.”

What are some tips you have on how to be a positive light? Please add your thoughts to our discussion.

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!


Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.