A negative mindset can be poisonous in the workplace. It can lower morale, decrease productivity and spread to other members of the team, leading to toxic work culture.

As a leader, it’s critical to have a positive mindset to effectively work through difficult situations and keep your team on the same page. Below, 12 members of Young Entrepreneur Council discuss how to exude more positivity at work and why these practices are especially crucial for those in leadership positions.

1. Remember The Three C’s

Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. There are ways to still let people know they missed the mark, but with a positive approach. Then, make sure to recognize, appreciate and give honest and sincere praise. Taking a genuine interest in what other people are doing or who they are will help to create good relationships with your co-workers. – Jennifer A Barnes, Optima Office, Inc

2. Show Genuine Interest

The best way to express positive energy is to show a genuine interest in others. Trying too hard to be optimistic or cheerful can come across as forced and fake. What people really appreciate is feeling that you’re really listening to them and responding to their concerns. Asking questions, paying attention to others and doing your best to solve problems come across as real positivity. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

3. Give Positive Feedback

Be sure to give positive feedback instead of only constructive comments. It can be tempting as a leader to focus on the problems, especially when you are busy and stressed. However, calling out the things that are going really well, celebrating them and encouraging more of them can both boost morale and performance since people then focus on trying to figure out what made that one thing great and trying to replicate it. – Andrew Powell, Learn to Win

4. Share Your Knowledge

A good leader will always listen and share their knowledge. Helping your team succeed and letting them know that they’ve done a good job will not only make your team feel good, but it will also make you have a more positive attitude. Sharing your knowledge and creating an environment built on the idea of sharing knowledge and experience will lead to a more collaborative and happy work environment. – Brian David Crane, Spread Great Ideas

5. Avoid Criticizing

Don’t criticize; lead. Instead of complaining ad nauseam about something you don’t like, point out what you do like. Better yet, show them how it’s done. Otherwise, your team can build resentment toward you over your negativity. If you do have to point out flaws, make sure you follow them up with other aspects of their work that you do like. – Amine Rahal, IronMonk Solutions

6. Stay Present

Stay present and don’t overthink. Overthinking can lead to anxiety, stress and frustration. If you focus on being the calm leader who looks to move things forward by bringing yourself to work as much as possible and living in the present, your team will respond positively. – Ryan Stoner, Dendro

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7. Dismiss Drama And Gossip

Avoid drama and gossip. Whenever it comes up, dismiss it and talk about something more positive. When you show your colleagues and direct reports that you simply don’t have time for that stuff, your positivity should flow freely. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

8. Lead With Empathy

One of the most important traits of a positive leader is empathy. This trait helps you understand the needs of others and be aware of their thoughts and feelings so you are able to respond appropriately to different situations and prevent feelings of resentment and conflict. This helps drive positivity and helps in building stronger and more meaningful relationships at the workplace. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

9. Spread Positivity Throughout Your Life

To exude more positivity at work, you need to be positive in other areas of life too. Otherwise, this can turn into toxic positivity that only sounds inspiring but doesn’t actually help you achieve anything. Are you positive at home? With friends and family? If not, then it’s time for some inner work to ensure that you’re in the best mental shape you can be. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

10. Show Appreciation

Today’s employees want their work to be recognized and appreciated. By showing gratitude, you create a positive work environment for the entire team and you boost team morale. When a leader shows appreciation, they become more personable, relatable and approachable. The result? A strong, unified team of people with shared values who are all driven toward the same purpose. – Brian Pallas, Opportunity Network

11. Share Personal And Professional Wins

One powerful way to exude positivity is to share personal and professional wins with your team. My business partner had a wonderful experience once when he attended a networking event and later had many people approach him and tell him how his work impacted them. My partner shared this with our company and the story showed people how their work matters. Share your wins and you’ll share positivity. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

12. Follow Positive People And Media

You are who you follow. It is important that you are fully aware of what you see, read and hear every day. Whether it’s on social media or at work, it is a must for us to only follow and listen to those who will bring positivity and joy to our lives. There’s negativity all around us, so it is a must that we aren’t part of spreading it, but rather part of the solution. – Daisy Jing, Banish

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