Naysayers need not apply



Being negative is easy.

I suffer from being negative as much if not more than the next person (see what I did there?) In my own reviews, my manager can give me 100 things I did right, and I walk away focusing on the few things I can do better.  When my team shares with me their work, their thinking, it takes effort to both praise and constructively criticize. These are my own daily struggles, I suspect others struggle with similar items.

Naysaying is the most dangerous of negativism.
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It is dismissive and not solution oriented. It also can be condescending and hurtful in certain circumstances.  Finding fault in others, and the work of others isn’t a challenge.  Humans are flawed and imperfect.  Imperfection isn’t something that will be overcome, it is permanent and here to stay – and so too will be the temptation to naysay.

To focus solely on the business side of naysaying is to understand the difference between discussion and dismissal.  Many people can be negative in a meeting or through the request for feedback – that isn’t naysaying.  Naysaying is the focus on being dismissive with no ability to push or grow the process/artifact/work/human.

I find in digital that given the pace of the interactive market and the pressure to be first, if not best, that many discussions on planning, strategy, creative, UX and technical design are short and not conversational.  The pressure to be right on the first attempt is often considerable.  And because the pressure to be right on the first try is so prevalent, the process to revise is aggressive and feedback and curt.  I am not inferring that the intent is bashing or de-motivating.  However, when the requisite time needed to formulate a POV isn’t permitted or accounted for, a response can easily become naysaying.

I suppose all I am saying is, in order to be successful (and certainly when working with me….) one needs to afford themselves the time to avoid being a naysayer and focus on building, not destructing.  POV’s are fine, in fact often it is what we are all being paid to arrive at.  But a POV without data or a rationale is just an opinion. And I have enough of those already.

A POV without data or a rationale is just an opinion.
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