A slow growth cancer in organizations.
People unnecessarily and gratuitously condemning the company to an impossible future: we will never change, we will always be like this, our leadership is terrible, we have no hope in hell of A, B, C, everything is really bad, etc.
Many times these are simply unchallenged. Often met with a nod, even if one does not believe it. They are also sheltered under the ‘respecting opinions’, flawed diversity cause. And it’s toxic.
One of our most successful types of behaviour in our Viral Change™ programme is the challenging of those verbalizations in canteens and corridors.
Critics may say that we are then promoting the opposite, a world in which we are supposed to say that everything is good, where there is no criticism but a permanent Pollyanna principle of unreserved optimism, that we say should reign. But this is far from reality.
Take public health care, say a hospital set up. Resources have been constrained, staff reduced or not growing, and long waiting lists. Staff are frustrated and in a bad mood. And they are entitled to be. To say everything is good, or even dismiss these problems on behalf of all other good things happening is not the approach. But this is not a ‘toxic attitude’ as we call it. The toxic attitude is: and we will never change, we will never solve it, we will always be a monster, we have no solution. That is toxic defeatism and cynicism, not legitimate ventilation of frustration. Yes, of course, there is a fine line. But this is crossed very often. The result is the spread of hopelessness that creates a climate when not even the good things get airtime anymore.
In our Viral Change™ programmes, the situation’s similar. We hear people saying that, for example, we pay lip services to health and safety, but nobody really cares. If this is not the case, as in most places I know, every minute of silence, is an unsafe minute of propagation of a defeatist culture.
Calling out these two sisters, defeatism and cynicism, is the best favour you can do to yourself and your fellow travellers. It’s enough to have real, funded frustrations, to then have to put up with prophetic gloom and doom.
Not in your name.