Leadership: What Do You Say?

I was talking with a thriving business owner today and he shared with me that he sometimes gets into a really negative place with himself. When he does he becomes very negative and “hyper critical” of himself. He gave me a description of the words he uses to describe himself and it is inappropriate for this “G” rated blog.

He describes himself as being very competitive and that he thinks his self denouncing language is a way to pump himself up and that pushes him to do better. I could agree with him if he had been able to tell me about the ways that his approach worked. But the more he talked, the more it became clear that he was not pushing forward but instead was pushing backwards and actually keeping himself down.

It was not as if he didn’t have his fair share of challenges with a growing business, a young family and a small workforce that he had to train and oversee while he was out growing and building business but I couldn’t help but ask him, “what his option b to pump yourself up”?

We talked about the words he uses to describe himself and I asked whether he would consider using less inflammatory language even if he wanted to describe his performance as less than acceptable to him. He was honest about not being sure that he could or that he wanted to but agreed that he could see how the way he was talking to himself about himself might not always have the motivating power that he would like.

He told me that he remembered a quote from Mahatma Ghandi that he always thought he should try to apply in his life but that he did not often put into play

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes”.

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