Positive Blatherings: Being Positive Can Make the Flawed Employee Considerably Less Flawed

In my employment history, I’ve worked with many different personality types. We all have, right? Many of them stereotypes of the kind of people we see in psychological case studies and barroom brawls. There’s the complainer, the smack-talker, the quiet workers and the leader. The leader is who I want to focus on – because that person is an interesting study.

The Positivity Vampire of a Boss

This episode from Buck Rogers really affected me when I was a kid – in ways I would rather not discuss here. Anyone else?

Was it being in the right place at the right time? Was it an unrelenting desire to get the job done at any cost? Was it his or her likability? Maybe it was a positive mental attitude? Could be all of them!

I knew a guy who was in the right place at the right time. He was great a delegating and kept on us all until the job was done. He was not a very good leader for a few reason: he was inconsistent, unapproachable, personally attacked anyone with an opinion and he enjoyed shirking his own responsibilities. He lead our department for a long time. We had a high turnover rate in a short amount of time. He always painted the quitter as a person who would not go very far in the business. All but one has had stellar careers; shows how much he knew. He beat the positivity right out of us. If we got to work in a good mood, he went out of his way to make sure we were all as miserable as he was.

I’ve actually had a few bosses like him, sadly.

The Flawed Is Not So Flawed

There was a young woman who worked closely with the group I worked with and she was always chipper and showed up with a can-do attitude. She wasn’t the best at her job, she made a lot of mistakes – but she did something that few others really ever did: she smiled, apologized and then fixed the problem. No excuses! No explaining away why she messed up or that it wasn’t her fault. She took ownership and always smiled while doing so. She rarely made the same mistake more than a few times and moved onto other mistakes. Sometimes her mistakes were annoying, but she was never late, was always happy (or seemed to be) and was the most reliable person on the team.

PMAHer positivity was contagious. Some of the more cynical dudes in the department resented her for her bubbly attitude, but I always found it refreshing.  Her positive mental attitude made her impossible to fire. (At least for her mistakes, anyway)

Food for thought.

Peace and love, always…




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