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Negativity Does Not Earn You a Promotion

Negativity maintains the status quo. Positivity leads to change.

The need to be right can kill your career. Some make being right their primary goal. Therefore, they shoot down ideas, point out mistakes, and discourage any risky venture. Don’t fall into the trap! It will swallow you and will devour your next opportunity for promotion.

Negativity maintains the status quo. Positivity leads to change. You rarely see negativity inspire people to do something new. Some of you reading this lean towards perfectionism. Mistakes – your’s or someone else’s – are hard to overlook. This is a part of your personality that makes you invaluable to a team. The attention to detail that comes naturally to you keeps the team from making big mistakes. But, your biggest strengths can also be your biggest weaknesses.

The need to be right – in every moment – will not always serve you well. In fact, that need to be right can be where your detail-oriented personality and your pride combine to hurt your career and your relationships with others. I am not talking about ignoring big accounting mistakes, misinformation in a marketing piece, or a design flaw in a product. That is when it is your Duty – your moral obligation – to say something. That is when your strength makes you invaluable.

I am talking about the small moments that you could let slide by. These are the moments when your perfectionist streak and your pride can cause damage. For instance, you don’t have to:

  • Correct someone’s misuse of a word or grammar error.

  • Look up something in a casual conversation to point out someone’s error.

  • Correct the way a loved one is telling a story.

  • Argue over a detail that does not impact the overall outcome of a project.

  • Argue about something that is a difference of opinion versus an issue of right and wrong.

Your natural instincts in these moments present you with a character test. You have an opportunity to look at these smaller issues and focus on the bigger picture. You have an opportunity to encourage someone and let them finish without correction. You have an opportunity to exercise Positivity even when everything inside of you is screaming for you to correct an issue.

Who do you think people want to follow? The person who spends more time encouraging or discouraging? The need to be right can discourage those around you. You will begin to shut down conversations, others will avoid your input, and they will distance themselves from you. Even if you are right! Nobody wants to follow someone who consistently points out their flaws.

Let it go! If it is not important – let it go! Encourage more and discourage less. Point out the good intentions of an idea instead of immediately shooting holes in the details. Keep the big picture in mind and remember that leaders lead change and your ability to see possibilities instead of problems, will be your key to becoming the leader people want to follow.


  • How can constant correction discourage the people around you?

  • Who do you have the opportunity to encourage today?


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