Sometimes You Have No Choice but to Be Negative

Chapter 6 Pg’s 148-149 Lead With Love By: Gerry Czarnecki

Every leader has abandoned “rewards only” leadership more than once. At times, the only possible action is a negative action. It is natural to expect you will get a negative reaction in return, so make certain the advantages outweigh the impact of that negative reaction. Fear and anger, the natural reactions in response to criticism, can energize or enervate. Assess the potential result of an associate’s unfavorable reaction to your

 negative feedback and decide if you can live with the consequences. As I said earlier, negative feedback probably is best reserved for times when you have had no real success with other attempts. The real issue here is not always related to the situation or to the associate involved. It may also be related to your prior behavior. When a tough boss with a reputation for being critical gives a strong dose of negative feedback, one of two things may happen. It may simply be viewed as just another incident, or it may be viewed as one incident too many. On the other hand, when a normally mild-mannered, quiet, positive leader turns negative, the change will probably be strong and full of surprise and dramatic influence.

 Your associates will expect you to be upset when a truly horrible situation develops. Remember, if you do not identify a problem, you cannot help people improve themselves. For this reason, even though you want to focus on positive feedback, it is also essential that your associates understand where their weaknesses are. Negative feedback, or a focus on failure, is inevitably a part of even a positive approach to changing behavior. Do not recoil from identifying weaknesses just because you are trying to focus on the positive. In short, do not let the “be positive” message prevent you from getting the improvement your unit needs.

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