Your Career and You: “Say ‘No’ to Negativity”

Publication1I just spent what seems like an eternity with someone who has, without doubt, the most negative approach to life of anyone I’ve run into in my entire life. We’re talking serious “no…unh-unh…no way.”

By the end of the day (That’s all it was??? Seemed like forever!!!), I was mentally, spiritually, and emotionally whipped. And, as those of you who know me can testify, that takes some doing!

When it was all over, I did what is becoming a habit of late…I took a l-o-o-n-n-n-g-g-g-g nap.

Then I started thinking about what had taken place and the effect the whole thing had had on me as well as, I’m sure, the countless dozens of people we came in contact with in the course of the day.

Negativity is just that…a negative force. It’s a vacuum that sucks the enthusiasm and optimism out of everything it comes near.

Nothing kills creativity, passion, spontaneity, and will-to-succeed like a looming dark cloud of “unh-unh…no way.”

This applies regardless of whether you’re a seasoned professional heading a team of younger, less experienced practitioners who are looking to you for guidance to help them succeed or you’re a younger, less experienced practitioner hoping to make your own mark on your chosen profession.

In either case, your approach to challenges and opportunities is noticed by and reacted to by those around you. It doesn’t matter if they’re directly connected or not. Your attitude is seen. Your attitude is judged. And your attitude causes others to act either positively or negatively.

This isn’t to suggest that you should simply go along with every single idea and suggestion that flows your way.

People (subordinates as well as superiors) are fully capable of generating truly bad/blatantly idiotic ideas. I speak both as the recipient…and the creator…of some doozies.

And that’s okay on both sides. Ideas are an indication of someone’s interest and creativity. We don’t all come pre-packaged with the same experiences and perceptions, so there are bound to be some differences of opinion about the true usefulness of an idea.

But I’ve learned over time to listen and evaluate first, then provide either positive or negative feedback. And I’ve learned that, by my taking that time, the other party often is able to better understand why the suggestion is not appropriate.

I’ve also seen the positive results of negative feedback in more carefully thought-out planning and increased enthusiasm because of my willingness to listen and respond openly and honestly.

So what’s this all about?

Simple. Listen to yourself.

How are you reacting or responding to others’ ideas? Do you encourage or discourage creativity?

Just say “no” to negativity.


About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 20 years' undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience. Community and media relations expertise, as well as a fanaticism for quality service and customer satisfaction. PR for healthcare and member services organizations ranging from Blood Bank of Hawaii to Medical Area Service Corporation to Boston Harborfest. Consulting services for Manila and Singapore Red Cross.
This entry was posted in careers, Communication, feedback, mentoring, public relations, Thinking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Your Career and You: “Say ‘No’ to Negativity”

  1. Pingback: Monday Roundup: Secrets at Waxing UnLyrical

  2. Pingback: Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc. | Monday Roundup: Secrets - Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.

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