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Promoting Positivity in the Small Things

Updated: Feb 14, 2019

What may appear to be very small in the life of someone else could actually be quite large. This happens when the situation has a deeper meaning than we recognize or when a seemingly small thing is linked to something much larger. The smallest straw can break the proverbial camel’s back. It wasn’t the single piece of straw which did it, it was the numerous pounds underneath it.

It is wise to avoid criticizing the last straw and instead allow for the burden underneath to surface. Those are the weights we have an opportunity to positively influence.

But, while we can focus on the fact there are small things which might signal a deeper burden, there are also emotional impulses which simply need addressed.

We have all seen an individual who is acting out negatively and using the excuse of a previous infraction as a license to be ugly towards others. This is inexcusable.

When it happens, the role of a Leader of Character is to address it simply, quickly and without adding your own emotion.

In either scenario, starting the conversation is as simple as stating:

  • I noticed you seem on edge. Would you like to share a bit more about what’s going on?

  • You don’t seem like yourself lately, how is everything going in your life?

  • I noticed you handled that situation a bit uncharacteristically. Would you be open to talking about what might be happening behind the scenes?

Allowing a team member an “out,” while still mentioning you noticed something is off, promotes a positive environment in which to have a bigger conversation. By pairing accountability with a lifeline, you can be relatable while still curbing a behavior which could be detrimental to the team. It is a leader’s Duty to also step in to positively address the situation.

Dig Deep Questions

  • Have you ever felt “off” and had someone address you in a way which only made it worse?

  • What made the interaction go wrong?

  • What do you wish the person who approached you had done differently?

  • How can you open the lines of communication with someone who isn’t displaying Positivity?

  • What perspective is key to remember when someone consistently shows a negative attitude?


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