Where did it start for me? 
Having spent the early part of my career as a motor mechanic I’m familiar working with things that don’t work and to all intents and purpose are broken! 
 
I think it’s fair to say that when you work in this type of environment where most of your time is spent fixing things it’s no surprise that your mindset becomes reflective of your surroundings, right?  
What's the impact? 
Clearly going though life with a negative outlook is not only unhealthy for you as a person but it also impacts on those around you, even to the point where your negativity becomes infectious! When negativity spreads through a team it will inevitably impact on the performance of the business. 
 
The vocabulary that ends up being used is likely to have a negative undertone, whether it’s a throw away remark that undermines the morale of the team, conversations that slate the company you work for or general negativity around the products you work with, all this just feeds the negative culture. 
So what can be done about it? 
Firstly, you have to recognise that this is happening - listen to what you and others are saying, really tune into the words and phrases being used. Ask yourself if everything is really as bad as you think it is! Broaden your horizon, think about why things might go wrong - if it’s a product that goes wrong, think about why the company would purposely produce something that isn’t good, it’s unlikely to be the case. If it is a person that makes mistakes, think is it just human nature to make mistakes? How would you feel if it was you that was making the mistakes? What’s the bigger picture and ultimately challenge your thinking by taking a long hard look at yourself and ask the questions “is this behaviour productive?” or “does it make me feel good?” It’s highly unlikely that it will! 
Reframing your thinking will enable you to view setbacks as stepping stones and an opportunity to learn – even the most successful businesses and the most charismatic individuals will have had moments when they thought all was lost! 
Summary. 
In summary, things are seldom as bad as you first think they are. More often than not we are just too close to the situation to be able to see things objectively. Take a step back, take a look at the situation as a whole, broaden your thinking and reflect on how you come across... you’ll be amazed at the power of positive thinking! 
Dave Bownes 
Director, 
Haynes Oliver Limited 
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