One thing that is easy to forget and deserves some contemplation is the question of how we affect other people. Are you a force for making others feel good or bringing them down? These are things people of good character think about. It is also good business. For this reason, “mutual respect” is one of our core values.
What effect does negativity have on others? What effect does it have on you? Negativity is something everyone in trucking is familiar with. It goes by a number of names, bitching, rumor mongering, complaining, whining, trashing, gossiping and others. You all have heard it in drivers’ lounges, truck stops, on the CB radio and increasingly on social media and cell phones. To understand this fully, simply ask yourself…how do I feel when listening to negativity? The answer is obvious. Once you understand this, you also understand the effect you have on others if you engage in this type of behavior. Everything about negativity is negative! It deflates and demoralizes those in their jobs, it takes away from ambition, drive and success, and it makes others feel bad. It accomplishes nothing good.
So why do some do it? I could derive from a low self-esteem, fear or anxieties in their lives and some folks are just miserable people. How do you counter the effects of negativity? The old Polish saying is that when I feel myself being drawn in to someone else’s drama, I say to myself, “Not my circus, not my monkeys!”
I talk to many drivers and am plugged into some of the rumors and other untrue negativity that floats around. In my eyes, this lessens the person who spreads. These types of people are detractors and folks who care little about others. Their blather is a feeble attempt to pump themselves up and appear more important. They make things difficult on our team. I think you would agree that this is contrary to our core value of mutual respect. It is also silly. As many know ACT has an open door policy. Why would one get their information from the rumor mill when you can easily get it from the horse’s mouth?
People never get what they want by complaining. It’s like a child throwing a tantrum to get some candy. We are all adults, not children. If people act like a child, they should not be surprised that others respond like a parent. When they act like an adult, they get an adult response. I had a driver bring me some ideas last week. We adopted them. He asked why now when others had been complaining. I told him because he was positive, logical and persuasive. Nobody listens to bitching. Being negative is a futile and miserable way to be. It doesn’t work. It breeds unhappiness. Don’t let anyone’s ignorance, hate, misery, drama or negativity stop you from being the best person in life and your career that you can be.
Being positive does good things for you and those you deal with. Isn’t it fun to associate with positive people? They don’t gossip or rumor because such things are negative by nature. Have you ever had a fleet manager who you dreaded when they called? Have you ever had one you loved to hear from? Don’t you think fleet managers have drivers which they dread when the phone rings? And conversely, those they like to deal with and trust? What a difference it makes whether you are a positive or negative person. If you truly like and respect others, you will be positive. The great secret is that attitudes are contagious. You show mutual respect by spreading the right one. What attitude will you choose each day?
Happy and Positive Trucking! Tom