Sometimes with the challenges of everyday life, it is virtually impossible to keep a positive attitude. Some people carry around negativity as a permanent fixture of their personality. Be aware, however, that this negativity and pessimism can easily rub off on your employees.
Pessimism Is Contagious
Whether you are a leader of a whole enterprise or a team, what you say and the way you say it carries a lot of weight. Everything you do is a sort of model that will be mirrored by your employees. Since you are the leader, if you focus on the negative, your team will focus on the negative too. As leader, you set the agenda. This applies also to whether a positive or negative outlook is taken.
Your Pessimism Conditions Your Employees To Expect Negative Outcomes
Pessimism is negatively oriented; it focuses on things that are wrong or could go wrong. This is important, and a vital aspect of analytical thinking. However, just as important as eliminating negative aspects of your work is adding positive elements. As mentioned before, when you are only looking at the negative, your employees will too. This leads to an emphasis on “fire fighting” negative aspects and a lack of creativity to come up with new ideas that can add positive aspects. This will condition them to focus on and expect negative outcomes. This kills ingenuity and initiative, which is bad for business.
Pessimism Builds A Toxic Environment
If you dwell on the negative outcomes, and make no effort to see or recognize the positive outcomes, your subordinates will invariably notice this. Your employees will accept the fact that they will get no recognition for doing things right, so they might as well invest that energy in making sure that they don’t do anything wrong. This creates a toxic work environment where people are more concerned about screwing up than taking initiative and doing things right. The guy who takes it upon himself to innovate will be afraid to do so if he knows the chances are good that he will be chewed out for it. Add to that the fact that there will be no prize for taking such initiative, and it’s safe to say that no one will be going the extra mile. As you can see, negativity and pessimism can easily rub off on your employees and create undesirable work situations and environments. In short, pessimism contributes to an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. Your employees will hone in on things that are broken, so that they can fix them. If something is not broken, but could be improved, they will be blind to that. A more balanced view of things would allow the team to see and correct the negative aspects, while still maintaining an overall positive perspective on their work and allow them to see things that can be improved that are not necessarily getting rid of something that is bad.