Hi, I'm Christine

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Assuming Negative Intent Hurts

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If you’ve ever worked in a “gotcha” environment, you know what it means to be around people who
assume negative intent.
You’ve worked your ass off on a report only to get an email pointing out the header should have been in
nine-point font rather than eight and no “thank you.”
Or you carefully draft an email containing a lot of great information and get an email back saying, “Why
did you copy Sam? Didn’t you know he’s on vacation?”
No one’s perfect. But, if you approach situations assuming negative intent, you’re looking for any minor
imperfection you can find. Guess what? You’re going to find one. Guess what else? So what! Did you
really feel better for pointing out that spelling error during the meeting rather than before, or pointing
out that the CEO had only been there 3.75 years rather than 4 in front of the President? Trust me; it
didn’t make you look better.
People generally want to do good work. So, if you expect good work from them, they know it and will
more often than not rise to the occasion. If they know you’re going to criticize them no matter what
kind of work they produce, then often they just stop trying.
If you want the best, expect for and look for the best. I bet you’ll find it!

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