One of the great things about negative thinking is it fosters innovation. Finding improvements to already useful items is a sure sign of someone who is not satisfied. For example, why would anyone build a better mouse trap? An entirely positive person would be happy simply because they have a mouse trap! If it didn’t work, it would be called the “Rat Buffet”. However, no one person is blindly positive. As humans, we always find things that need improvements.
Positive thinking can breed complacency. A positive thinking worker looks around and says “I love this place! Don’t change a thing!” Whereas a negative thinker says “I love this place! It would be even better if…” Does that mean you want to stock your office with negative thinking people? Not unless you want to be miserable. Although a few scattered around the workplace can really improve things.
When it comes to safety, complacency is deadly. If you come to work in an environment that has dangers, you can’t relax. You can’t get comfortable. In hazardous areas, lax attitudes get people hurt. Or worse, it gets you killed. We can fall into the mindset “I went to work and nothing happened, nothing happened last week and nothing dangerous happened last month.” This allows you to let your guard down. Negative thinking reminds us that we’re working in a dangerous environment and we need to be alert. Do we need to worry so much that we’re scared? Of course not! But a little fear, a little doubt reminds us to be more careful.
Fight complacency by following these rules:
Never forget where you are. If you work in a dangerous workplace, remember that! I’m not asking you to live your life dreading every moment at work. However, you must be aware of the dangers. Follow proper procedures in place. Think of your surroundings and identify the dangerous things.
Look at the history. Ask about prior incidents. Let your staff know of accidents when they happen. There is a myth that you have to learn from your own experience. When it comes to safety, I want to learn from someone else’s mistakes. I would prefer to learn how I could lose fingers in training, not from the paramedic on the ride to the hospital. A good, safe, company lets everyone know about all incidents so the rest of the employees can learn from that mistake. Also, so they know which ER to send flowers to…but that’s another story.
Ask for help. Every manager who is responsible for the lives of others should always be asking, “How can I make it safer for you?” “What are you seeing out there that could be a problem?” “What are we doing wrong?” Go to the front line personnel and get to the heart of the matter. Have an open door policy where anyone can come in and express concern. Have a weekly (or at least monthly) meeting where everyone can give ideas on how to improve safety. It never hurts to ask. It can hurt if no one does.
Being a little uncomfortable out in the field or in an area that is dangerous is a good thing. That’s why fear exists. It’s our brain telling us “Don’t put your tongue on the sander!” Yes, some people have to be told. Be comfortable enough to do your job well, but never forget an accident is one comfortable moment away from being very uncomfortable.
Craig Price has helped thousands of people learn to find the value in their own negative thoughts and emotions. His signature keynote “Getting a Grip on Negativity” and the companion book “Half a Glass: The Realist’s Guide” gets audiences to understand how to use negativity as a tool for change and productivity. If you are interested in having Craig present at your next conference, association meeting or corporate event please call 877-572-7890 or email Craig@SpeakerCraigPrice.com today to ask about pricing and availability
Craig Price has helped thousands of people learn to find the value in their own negative thoughts and emotions. His signature keynote “Getting a Grip on Negativity” and the companion book “Half a Glass: The Realist’s Guide” gets audiences to understand how to use negativity as a tool for change and productivity.
If you are interested in having Craig present at your next conference, association meeting or corporate event please call 877-572-7890 or email Craig@SpeakerCraigPrice.com today to ask about pricing and availability