A CEO friend and client said to me…Brian; you talk a lot about negativity.
Yes I do! That’s because negativity is so widespread and readily accepted as “normal.” It’s a blind spot that holds us back without us knowing it is holding us back.
Negativity is especially insidious and troublesome at work. It is a blind spot that managers miss because it is viewed as conventional, accepted and normal.
Based on this acceptance it’s counter-intuitive and unnatural to look at negativity as a blind spot.
Think about how negativity colors hundreds of thousands of interactions at varying degree throughout each day.
Consider the educated and well-trained manager who has a troubled team member. The team member is off track and the manager is going to straighten him out. I’m just the guy to do it, he says.
The manager starts building his case. He’s having the meeting before the meeting with himself. I’ve seen this before, he says.He’s a problem. I’m not going to hold back this time. I’ll put him in his place. He’s rude, abrasive and inconsiderate. He disrupts teamwork and I’m going to disrupt him!
During the meeting with the team member, the manager unloads both barrels. The team member shut down crossed his arms and demands to have an HR witness present. He wanted also to talk with a senior manager or someone who is not enraged and totally against him. The team member feels he needs an arbitrator.
Where the manager initially had one problem on his hands, he has now escalated his one problem to two…. at least!
I encourage you to not just believe me blindly. Observe this happening at multiple levels for yourself. Be vigilant, watch the human condition and see this unfold with your eyes at work, in families, community events and children’s sporting events.
An administrative judge once told me that retaliation claims have the highest percentage of being upheld and they also payout the most because those in the business of human relations believe that it is human nature to want to get back at people. In other words, it’s human nature to view people in a negative light and use negativity to get back at people.
Friends, we can change this. It is time to shed light on this blind spot and bring more humanity to work and life!
Negativity is like water that surrounds a fish. It will find you without any effort on your part. If you want something else…say growth, productivity or achievement, it takes extra effort on your part to find it and make it part of your life.
Your task: Out energize the negative.
Remember, this takes daily effort not just the occasional view.