It’s so easy to be negative and criticize especially when what’s wrong in a situation sticks out like a sore thumb, but if you want to make a positive change happen, it’s important that you STOP. Before you open your mouth to criticize someone or something, stop and criticize yourself first. Especially if that someone or something is of importance to you.
With these few seconds, ask yourself a few questions.
- When was the last time I had something positive to say to this person or regarding this situation?
- What can I do (personally) to improve this person or this situation?
- Is my criticism going to help improve the situation?
Your criticism may prove to be ineffective if the person already feels negatively about themselves or the situation. It may have adverse affects if the person deems admires or respects you. It can also create an unneeded enemy if your criticism is given to a stranger. What good does any of this do?
You can still give your critical advice, but make sure you first acknowledge the good in the situation. Speaking hypothetically can be confusing, so lets try it out.
Why is your room always filthy?
It seems that keeping your room is a challenge. Let’s work together to come up with ways to make it easier.
The second comment is not accusatory and shows your willingness to help.
Here’s another. Instead of:
There were never this many problems when I was the manager.
I remember having these same issues when I was a manger. Some of the things that helped me the most were…
Again, you’re acknowledging the problem, but also offering solutions.
Perhaps there’s nothing nice to say about a situation. Of course, this happens sometimes. Instead of adding insult to injury, it would be best not to say anything at all. If you are apart of an organization that is doing everything wrong, spend your complaining energy on what’s going right. If its so bad that you don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, leave that organization and put your positivity into an organization that you feel more aligns with your goals. If you can’t find that organization, create it. We’re only allotted so much energy, why waste it on negativity, criticism and complaints.
We know all about the problems, but how much are we doing to help the solution? It’s simple, if you spend 10 minutes complaining about something, you need to spend AT LEAST 20 improving it.
Avoid being the negative Nancy/Nate, just be Positive Pat!
How do you plan to improve your positive energy?