Estimated reading time: 4 mins
I’ve decided to create a series of posts based on positive energy.
In this first article, I’m going to talk about positive and negative sources of energy, and perhaps dispell some myths. So on that note, I’d like to focus first on…
1) Issues and Problems are not necessarily negative sources of energy!
When people come to you with a problem, do you always react with a negative? I doubt it. Problems can create strong desire to change, and can give you a boost to do something positive. For example, if a colleague comes to you and tells you that a project will be delivered late, it could provoke a burst of energy in you to bring delivery back to the deadline. In these ‘crisis moments’, all normal rules can be suspended and it may give you the legitamacy and latitude to bring people together who wouldn’t normally do so, or perhaps make a decision based on your gut. I must admit, these moments are my favourite. Personally, I have risen much further in colleagues expectations due to crises; my brand of leadership has brought us out of a mire to a positive result.
When issues are uncovered when the solution is in the hands of the messenger, this can be disheartening; it can feel like you’re being dumped upon. Often, people in different teams aren’t communicating which stems other problems. You can turn this into a positive by motivating both parties to resolve the situation together by symbollically showing them their common enemy – a deadline or an unexpected cost.
And sometimes a problem is not really a problem, or a significant one anyway. A positive boost to what might seem a bad situation is to critically look at it and ask ‘Does it really matter’? So what if so and so is hacked off? So what is we miss that date, is the alternative worse? A neutral position is sometimes the best one.
2) Popular people are not always positive people
Some people like to ‘know stuff’ that others don’t and selectively share it. Some people likely to hold a coven and share negative views. Some people just enjoy a good moan at others, and to receive a good moan. But these people are influencers and have a degree of charisma, and shouldn’t be ignored.
2) Minimise the effect of negative people
Negative people can often spread negative feelings like wildfire. You should try to surround yourself with positive people, but that isn’t always possible. Often the root of a negative person’s attitude is their perception of some major wrongdoing against them. And its something that can be in their deeper past. If you can’t eradicate these people from your sphere of interest, then you’ll have to deal with them, and perhaps in an unfair way relative to others. But it will pay dividends. If you can get a negative person singing a positive tune, it will have an amplified effect on you and the rest of your team. Look for quick wins; can you change their job title? Or their desk location?
3) Don’t become negative when people don’t see things your way – learn from it
As a person from a technical background, you will often find that some people marginalise your opinions on general matters or consider your hard work as a background task. This can be frustrating! But don’t be. Use the occasions when this happens to learn – its your responsibility to do that. Reflect on the personal interchange and consider the language you used, or the way your points were communicated. Did your language contain jargon? Was it accessible to the other person? Did you use email instead of talking one to one? Was the other person listening? Use these experiences to look into your behaviours and adjust them, and try again. See this as a challenge you must overcome.
4) Accept the worst and beat it
A powerful thought tool is in any given situation, accept the worst possible outcome. Know what this means and accept it has already happened. Anything you do from this point is a bonus. This technique is used by many successful people. Once you’ve accepted the worse case, you can begin to construct positive steps to improve the situation, and you’ll do so with positive energy.
Conversely, I’ve found that technical people are often perfectionists. Technical perfection is the only acceptable position. But in the commercial world, this rarely exists. Its mostly about compromise. So why try to gain perfection? If its an impossibility, then the only outcome is disappointment and negativity. Change things around and you’ll find that you not only feel and act more positively, you’re unlikely to deliver anything of less quality!