Posted December 13, 2010on:
A small dose of negative thinking can help you see things from a different perspective. A short, sharp ‘no’ can re-ground you when required. While a positive, optimistic attitude is necessary to forge ahead, an opposing viewpoint reins you in giving you the chance to review your thinking, assess your proposals, and determine your approach. You might say that negativity serves as the brakes to your positivity accelerator.
The Critical Eye. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) highlights 2 preferences available when making decisions – thinking and feeling. Those who prefer thinking have the ‘critical eye’: looking at a situation from the outside, weighing up why something may not work. Identifying possible problems in advance ensures a smooth, enduring and positive outcome.
Constructive negativity. Everyone makes mistakes. Pointing them out is essential to improve a situation. Make the criticism constructive; focus on the behaviour and avoid blaming the person, unless you want to create a negative environment. Only complain when you can offer solutions to the problems.
Specify how much time you’ll devote to negativity. Give yourself a limited time to spend on negative thinking. 5 – 10 minutes should be enough. During that time immerse yourself in negative thoughts. When the time’s up let go of all negative feelings, attitudes, words, and behaviours. Take off the negative cloak and replace it with a positive one. Explore the optimistic options and move on.
REMEMBER: At its best negativity is a conscious choice, utilised to bring value to problem solving, affiliations, and procedures.
TIP: Constructive criticism partnered with affirmative action ensures a positive outcome; so offer to help with the implementation.
TECHNICAL STUFF: MBTI is a psychometric instrument, based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality development. It explains basic patterns in human functioning and is a highly respected and accurate tool for understanding personality preferences. (See ‘News’ for more details).
CAUTION: If it’s not broken, leave it alone. Concentrate your energy on fixing things that are truly in need of repair.
FINALLY: There can be no light without dark, no positive without negative. Constructively used negativity will keep you grounded, enhance your creativity and improve your chances for success.
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