In 2016 The Guardian launched a project to find out how its readers might react to them deliberately publishing articles about good things happening in the world. And they’ve followed it up more recently with a new series called “The Upside” which is determined to reveal to readers “all of humanity, not just the bad bits.”
I think both initiatives are a noble effort – you can make up your mind on where you stand.
But this comment by journalist Mark Rice-Oxley, really did appeal:
“Away from the horror and conflict, the shouting and the skulduggery, away from the tragedy, disaster and zero-sum misanthropy, there is a wide world of answers and improvements, of win-win and mutual support, of selflessness and curiosity, of movements and innovations. And when you write about it, people tend to respond positively. They do so because while audiences have always been riveted by bad news (it serves as both an early warning system and a reassurance about the comfort of their own lives), they are tired of the avalanche of awfulness. They are switching off.”
It really did remind me of the value of people giving each other praise and positive feedback at work.
Targets, KPIs, benchmarking, surveys, evaluations, measurements, objectives and goals . . . yes, we need them in business, and used correctly, with appropriate focus they’re all fantastic devices. But what if they’re used only to let people know where they’ve gone wrong, how to do it better, work harder, faster, smarter? I guess we all know the answer. Many of us might even have been victims to that unhelpful culture of leadership.
So what if as leaders, colleagues, peers, team members, partners we said well done occasionally? Don’t you know the answer to that one too?
I think I know what might happen . . . and it’s a good-news story I’m longing to read about.