Anyone who knows me, knows I am most content when surrounded by positive people. I don’t mind genuine questioning and even a little negativity every now and then but on the whole I like the comfort of a ‘we can do this’ attitude.
There’s a great moment in the movie ‘Charlotte’s web’ where the goose, played by Oprah Winfrey asks “can you, just for once, say something positive?” The answer is both hilarious and shocking at the same time “I am positive it won’t work!”
On the 23rd. of June this year, the United Kingdom (or maybe I should say ‘disunited’ Kingdom) will vote on whether to stay in or leave the European Union. This vote has the potential to unite, or split apart, not only Europe but families, businesses and even entire communities. The problem is that like in many big decisions we don’t have all the facts and therefore cannot know the true consequences of taking them. What we are left with are emotions and in the next few weeks it will be people’s emotions and gut feelings that will count more than anything else.
The problem is that the easiest emotions to communicate are negative ones; how bad things are and will be, rather than how good they have been and how even better they can become. Great leadership is about finding a true vision for the future. Finding positive things to say, even about your enemies. However, as predicted, we are only a week or so into the debate and already in the media negativity and scaremongering is running high above considered debate and positivity.
As a change manager, in these kinds of debates, it is not the result so much that worries me but how to repair the damage afterwards.
Have good week,