I spent some time this past weekend reflecting on the week. I posted before my simple series of questions that I use to look back and review situations or actions. There was one thing that just jumped out at me – that really was concerning. I spent a lot of time in, what I will call – negative space. You know that place where just about everything that pops in your head or you overhear that is negative. Not a good place to spend much time.
I started looking at each situation and it became clear to me that I have a couple of choices that I must make.
- Stop hanging around with negative people.
- Take a few minutes to really understand better what is being communicated either verbally or written – before I react.
- When I spend time with normally positive people and they are now negative – seek to understand what is happening with them.
This past week, I must have been extremely unlucky. I spent a lot of time with a few folks that are rarely positive. Well, let’s face it – if they ever said anything positive – the world would just plain stop in its tracks. A long time ago, I had a Army Colonel that taught me that you just have to make sure that you stay clear of negative folks. All they ever do is suck the energy out of any situation. It was definitely the cause with a few folks this week. I really need to distance myself from them.
Reacting to stuff is a way of life. We all react. How you react is key. For example, a significant other sends flowers to their partner. Seems totally harmless act. Flowers are delivered to the office with a card that says – Just Because! Love, xxxx. There really are just two reactions. The first one is, “wow, he really does love me.” Or the other one, “what has he done now? this just pisses me off.” Definitely two totally different reactions. I got a couple of emails and calls this past week, that I believe that I did not handle like I would have liked. I took the negative route for my reaction. Was that right? Probably not. I really have to stop, think and react after some time has passed. The jumping to a quick reaction is not always that best course of action. Thinking about it now, I believe that to be the case (in my situation).
Let’s face it – everyone has a bad time every once and awhile. As a team lead, you have to look for those situations and step up and handle them with compassion. Ignoring them does no one any good. This past week, I had the opportunity to practice this. At work, we are in the middle of our plan cycle for the upcoming year. Activity levels are up and the deadlines are shorter than normal. It is easy for folks that are usually very happy go lucky to just get down. I can not forget to recognize and spend some time with that person to fully engage with them. We all need that positive energy close by.
This past week, was not all doom! In fact, I felt pretty positive overall with the week – reflecting back. In every situation there is always room for improvement. Tiger Woods is always striving to improve – and he is #1 in his sport. If we are looking at ourselves with critical eyes and being honest – will we ever improve?
Look for me to distance myself from those negative folks; spend some time thinking before reacting; and recognize this in others that are normally positive.