Why are you such a negative Nellie?

Have you ever had one of those conversations where every idea that comes up a person on your team seems to shoot it down? I know I have… many times! Here’s what I discovered about why that would happen. It’s something I learned from a brilliant trainer, Shelle Rose Charvet of Burlington Canada.

It was around this time of year, ten years ago and I was so looking forward to going to Canada for ten days to learn from Shelle. I envisioned the temperature being cooler and the people being great to work with. What I discovered was the people were indeed awesome but the weather was much more hot than back here in Indiana.

Shelle wrote a book called “Words That Change Minds” and it’s a must read if you happen to work with people. It’s based on some work originated in the Neuro Linguistic Programming world by Leslie Cameron Bandler and then perfected by a guy named Roger Bailey. It’s called the Language and Behavior Profile, LAB Profile for short. It’s all about how people get motivated, make decisions and process information by deleting some information, distorting some information and generalizing other information. I tell you all this because some will want to know and will look it up! More about that some other time! One more thing you need to know… there are Motivation Traits and Working Traits.

Back to the negative Nellie. One of the 6 Motivation Traits is “Toward” or “Away From.” This trait tells the direction a person is motivated from in a given situation (context). A Toward person looks to opportunity, possibilities and what they can achieve. They are motivated by striving for the Carrot. An Away From person looks to prevent, avoid or mitigate risk in a given situation. This person is motivated by avoiding the dreaded stick. Some people get excited about the possibilities they would be the Toward folks while others are excited when there is something to move away from or avoid, They are the Away From folks. Think of them as the editor or proofreader for your work.

So the next time that Negative Nellie starts to express the pitfalls and where things can go wrong, be thankful and not frustrated. Now you understand that Nellie isn’t really negative, she just wants to avoid things going awry.

If you want to know how to apply these and other ideas in your business… just ask. I’ll be glad to help!

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