Positively Negative

Following on from my post Positively Ignorant, today I write another post regarding positivity, however this time I’m talking about the positive use of negativity.

I worked for a while within a business that had a heavily positive culture. The business was all about “Harmony” and “bigging each other up” etc. Now this was all well and good for perceived (and somewhat false) happiness, (until things went wrong,) but in terms of doing good business this proved to be a detrimental plan.

If you are too heavily into positivity and harmony you don’t leave yourself the room to “tell it how it is” – In business the problems then don’t get pointed out, hence they never get resolved. The dead wood never gets a chance to drift down stream and is instead tied to the boat with happy words and other such ego wanking.

In my personal experience even criticising the dead wood resulted in a shunning for disrupting the “vibe” – In my personal experience things didn’t turn out so well…

I now coin a phrase…

Positivity Blindness: “The desperate act of blindly ignoring all negatives”

These days I don’t have the same problem. If person “x” just isn’t doing a good job, something gets said. If there is a problem brewing within the business, something gets said. If I have a problem with a partner or colleague, it gets talked about and resolved. These days I feel unfathomably more relaxed because I KNOW WHERE I STAND.

This false “Harmony” also lead to a whole bunch of back stabbing. I personally found it incredibly stressful to never know exactly what was going on.

I believe relationships grow more during the bad times than during the good. It’s through passionate confrontation that we really learn to understand each other. If you have never fought with your life partner, how do you ever expect to get through any serious problems? Business partnerships are very similar to personal relationships with very similar opportunities for growth.

Don’t be afraid of negativity. If you can’t deal with it, then you shouldn’t really be feeling positive to begin with.


p.s. I’m now sitting in Schiphol airport feeling positively ill after my first MaccyD’s in five years… I now remember why I haven’t endured this horrible crap for such a long time. (That’s some positive negativity for you)
Schiphol AirportEasyjet Landing Full Flaps and Spoilers

One thought on “Positively Negative

  1. There is a time and a place for Pollyanna, and it isn’t 24/7 in a business environment ( no matter what the sales department say).

    Embracing diversity of opinion makes sure that all the dark cobwebby corners get a look in, even if we are scared or ashamed.

    In my decades in the corporate world I have seen some very expensive decisions being made because no-one wanted to face the unpleasant truths that had been pushed under the carpet.

    Good thing is, when you recognise these things, you are not doomed to repeat them.

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