Often, it is our first instinct to think about everything that could be flawed with an idea before we consider the positives. But to be an effective lab manager, a positive attitude is necessary in order to keep staff happy and ensure all the best parts of an idea are taken into account. Entrepreneur Anthony Tjan describes a simple way for managers to maintain an optimistic attitude in his recent blog post on the Harvard Business Review, “Learning Optimism with the 24x3 Rule.”

Tjan challenges mentors, leaders and managers to do these three things whenever they're considering an idea or situation in the workplace:

  • Wait 24 seconds before thinking or talking about the bad side of things
  • Wait 24 minutes before becoming critical of an idea
  • Finally, wait a full 24 hours before thinking of all the negative aspects of a situation

Following these three steps, Tjan says, will train you to automatically think of all the positives in a suggestion, helping you become a natural optimist.