Friday, December 3, 2010

Find the Positive, Not Just the Negative

I worked for a man who never could seem to see the positive in the store he managed.  Everyone was a thief, everyone was lazy, everyone would take a day off when he was on vacation.  True?  No, but he saw things that way.  Once, during a very busy time in the store, I saw him walking around the store with a notebook in hand, occasionally taking notes.  I asked him what he was doing.  "I'm writing down everything I see that is going wrong so I can talk with everyone about it later!"  The joke behind his back in the store was, "If he [the manager] tells you 'thank you' or 'good job,' be sure to write it down, 'cause you may never hear it again."

How sad that one person, in charge of a multi-million dollar operation could only see the negative in his store, his employees and his customers, rather than acknowledging the positive.

As we immerse ourselves in social media, do we end up doing the same?  Smart businesses scan the social media sphere for comments about their companies.  When a negative comment crops up, they jump in, hopefully trying to solve the problem.  Sometimes to do some damage control.  Occasionally to argue.

But, as we scan social media for comments about our businesses, do we ever look for the positive?  "I love that [brand]!" they might say.  "You've got to try this [brand].  It's the best!" another might share.  Do we see those comments and ignore them BECAUSE they are positive, or do we stop a moment and simply say, "Thank you."

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