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Cynacism in Conversation, MMM 12-27-2010

  IS THE WORD CYNICLE CREEPING INTO YOUR CONVERSATION?

Monday Morning Message, December 27, 2010

Are you one of the people that see the world as a glass half full?  Are you able to see the positives in life?  Do you look forward to difficult times because they will sharpen you and your faith?  Do you have the same attitudes at work as you do elsewhere?  Can you carry the wonder and optimism of Christmas into your workplace habits? 

In sharing secrets of success with people in the financial services, I have always talked about the value of being positive.  Of course this works in ALL of your life experiences.  Finding the positives is not always easy and in fact it can be downright impossible during tragedies and bad behavior.  But after such events, many people find that the trauma of life’s difficulties can still yield positive outcomes.  Even for people who have terminal diseases, positive approaches show statistical advantage over those who are negative.  This line of thinking could help you as you prepare to go into the New Year.

A recent article in the NY Times involved an interview with Kathy Savitt, CEO of Lockerz, a social and e-commerce site for e-consulting.  She talks about how the first signs of danger in office, team, and work environment attitudes often begin with “Cynicism”.  This is a condition that you can hear in your own conversation as well as others.  If you have it, stop it and if you are hearing it, shun it and walk away!  This cancer is referred to as a “first cell, so to speak, that can metastasize within an organization”.  Here are a few reasons why it is so dangerous:

1. An employee has a great idea; experiences a breakthrough with a client; knows how to make the team better but none of the leaders listen. When no one listens, problems and ideas fall on deaf ears… cynicism is not far behind.


2. When a company and its leaders are not living out the agreed upon core values, the employees and team members will stop trying to live out those same values.   It is hard to lead someone to a place you are not going to yourself. Cynics have a field day when they see weak leadership and bad examples!


3. Effective communication to relate good ideas can get squelched.  When people in charge have great ideas but they never reach the troops, more than likely new seeds of cynicism will result. Good leaders never give up trying to communicate positives even when it seems redundant. 

Wow!  That’s frustrating just writing and reading about it.  If you are a manager leading people, then work to avoid the behavior that elicits cynicism.  If you are an employee who works in an environment that needs your positive influence, don’t let cynicism creep into your conversation!  What can you do to make your team better?  Write three ideas down now and share them with at least one person today!  Happy New Year!

Matthew 6:15-16 (RSV) “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?”


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