Soaking it up or spreading it out?

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Soaking it up or spreading it out?

It’s just another weekday morning but you feel the negativity the moment you enter the building. Negativity in the conversation overheard at the coffee machine. Negativity in the voice of a colleague on the phone to someone who is not coming into the office today. Negativity in the meeting you attend

“We just don’t have enough staff”.

“They’re impossible to find”.

“Even if you find them, they don’t stay”.

I believe that the negative / positive balance in any working environment happens not only by circumstance but by a delicate balance of two kinds of people: ‘Soakers’ and ‘Spreaders’.

Soakers are by far in the majority but that’s OK.  Soakers are the people that soak up the environment around them; if it’s negative they are negative, if it’s positive, they are positive.

Spreaders, on the other hand, are much rarer. They are positively charged people whose glass is always full or at least half full, and never empty. They do not accept that how things are or how things will remain. The spreaders’ overabundance of positive energy allows them to convert negative energy into positive energy.  Spreaders are much more then motivators or inspirers, they are people that are programmed to make a difference and will not rest until they see positive results, no matter how small.

Soakers absorb the spreaders energy, which in-turn is absorbed by the other soakers.  Some soakers need only one or two positive electrons from the spreaders while others need a great deal more. Sometimes, if you are very lucky, a small miracle can happen and some of the soakers become spreaders, at least for a while.

Just like electrical inverters, ‘spreaders’ need a constant flow of energy to keep them positively charged, the good thing is they tend to be able to get it from almost anywhere. But even spreaders can run flat from time to time, especially if they become ill or if they encounter a massive overabundance of negativity from above and below in the organisation.

Hoping you have a positively charged working environment and that there is always a spreader or two in the neighbourhood?

Have a good week,


One liner:  Positive people are like very efficient batteries, they can hold and give off an enormous  amount of energy but even they need to be re-charged once in a while. Harley Lovegrove

Tip of the week: Try and identify the spreaders in your workplace. Check to see that you have the right balance. If your spreaders are flat or no longer around, think of a strategy to get them, or others like them back again. Plus work out what you need to change to retain them this time.

2017-07-04T08:37:56+00:000 Comments

About the Author:

Harley is a dynamic 'we can do this' kind of person with a successful track record of working for a wide variety of companies in all kinds of sectors. From very small family run businesses right through to giant multi-nationals. Over the last thirty five years Harley has built a reputation for inspiring those around him to rout out and tackle the core problems facing their organizations. Armed with a wide range of pragmatic tools that he has developed over the years, Harley is able to help his clients bring about long-term, sustainable solutions, while having fun at the same time. Harley is a motivational 'people person' who is nonetheless tough on efficiency and delivery. Apart from being well known for his highly entertaining and motivational speeches, Harley is also a blogger and author of four books; 'The Change Manager's Handbook', 'Transition', 'Inspirational Leadership’ and ‘Making a Difference’.

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