Take it down a notch!Posted: February 10, 2012
Boom, ba-boom, boom, ba-boom… that car was vibrating. The music was cranked up to 11. The person inside was singing, I mean singing full out. Hands a wavin’, interacting with the audience, singing at the top of the lungs, belting like Aretha… it felt really good.
Yeah, that was me. I admit it. And while I risked being seen by unsuspecting neighbors who may now think twice about play dates with the Hill boys, it was worth it. I felt so happy. All of my favorite songs were playing and while these artists were perfectly competent to sing on their own, I’m certain their performance was just a wee bit better with my help on Tuesday morning.
I’ve been accused before of being “that person.” You know, the person who shows up to work that is overly positive. “Good morning everyone!” And while one might think that is an admirable trait, some might tell you that it didn’t work for them.
Take my ex-coworker, now good friend, who I’ll refer to as “Gena.” When we worked together at Starbucks in Creative Services in the late 90s, I would commonly get in around 7 (hey, I’m a recovering farm girl). “Gena” would arrive around 8:30 or so, a sane time by most people’s standards. She would turn the corner heading toward our space and I can only imagine what was going through her head…
“Damn, there she is. She’s already here again. Isn’t everything so happy, Miss Happy Pants? Keep your face down… don’t make eye contact… oh wait, it’s too late… she’s… coming… towards… me. Here it comes. Brace yourself.” GOOD MORNING GENA!
Poor Gena. I never gave her a chance. I was consumed with my emotion, not taking into account that maybe it was too much for her.
This all came to mind when I was talking to someone yesterday about how as a leader, whether we are talking to a peer, a direct report or a boss, we need to “meet them where they are.” Where is that person emotionally? How are they feeling? And if someone is really stressed, how being overly positive can actually make things worse. It can also be equally bad if the person is overly positive and so are you and you about to embark on some critical thinking. Think you might have some blind spots?
Next time you meet someone, take a minute to calculate where that person is emotionally on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being miserable, 10 being jubilant. What are you about to do and where do you need him or her to be? As a leader, how can use your emotional knowledge to lead someone to a productive place, not force him or her there with a GOOD MORNING!
This morning, however, I’ll be cranking to 11 because I’m meeting with Kevin Leahy, the brain trainer, who is well over 15 on the scale of positivity at ALL TIMES. We’re meeting for coffee at 8 am (although he suggested 7… Love that guy!) for a little brainstorming about the brain, a perfect reason to be overly positive.
Have a great Friday everyone! 🙂