Learning to network

November 22, 2006

More sound reasons for you to be confident

Filed under: think positive — Arthur M. Gallagher @ 5:17 pm

A comment by Jonathan Meath to an “old” post of mine (two weeks ago is ancient history for this blog! 🙂 ) has made me think more about the confidence and positivity.

He made the point that confidence is important not just in business dealings, but in communications in general. Thinking more about this, in the light of my recent experience, I have realised that there are even more reasons to use a positive tone in communication.

Encourage improvement

Positivism, like laughter, is infectious. I have noticed that a question or idea that bravely looks forward to a brighter future encourages more constructive responses. This is partly because an otherwise dull topic takes on a more exciting light, but also because people follow that first step forward, go “ooh, yes!” and spot a way to make yet another step beyond that. 

Merely listing a series of current defects only encourages people to add their own pet peeves, and any bright hopers out there would get drowned in the sea of “yeh, but you wouldn’t believe how bad … “. But when most people put in positive contributions, some of which make sense, whinging is rare because it seems really out of place and is seldom encouraged.

Avoid confrontation

A major risk in written communication is misunderstanding – without those extra clues from facial expressions or tone of voice, there is plenty of opportunity to get completely the wrong idea. You can avoid people misinterpreting you by reviewing your writing and removing ambiguities, but you can’t always dedicate that much time to every email message you send.

If someone misinterprets what you say, they may become offended and respond slightly less than politely, and in extreme cases a reasonable conversation can get dragged down into a bitter war of flames. What I have noticed with writing that uses a very positive tone, however, is that it is difficult to take offence. I’m afraid I cannot find a way to express this in more detail right now, but you can observe for yourself that forward-thinking positivism is difficult to put down. The suggestion might not be right for you, but you can understand how it could work for other people.

Maybe its just difficult to put someone down, when they have set out with their head raised so high?

You can still spot the ego-trippers

In the past I have been reserved about being too enthusiastic, because I have seen plenty of instances where people have used positivity merely to promote their own products or egos. To avoid being tarred with the same brush, I have always eschewed a sparkling, positive, benefits-driven way of writing, simply sticking to a plainer style I equated with modesty.

Since opening myself up to communicating with more drive and optimism, however, I have begun to appreciate that you can actually tell the empty vessels from the writers who have something valid to contribute to us all. You can see the difference between those who offer to share something with us, that resonates with the way we see things, as a common gift – versus those who get in our faces and ram their message down our throats. And gradually you learn to differentiate the more subtle degrees in between.

I am sure there are other reasons for writing from a positive point of view when sharing in your peer-groups, but I think that these are already a great start. I guess the way to find more is to practice.

Think positive – write positive – surely the results will be positive too!

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