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Is a negative attitude sabotaging your career?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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By Tricia Molloy

We all know people who light up a room ― when they leave it. It might be a coworker, client or friend. They are the ones who see the glass half empty and are ready to share all the details on the latest natural disaster, company rumor or another economic downturn. You may label them as pessimistic — they see themselves as realists.

Have you ever wondered what that negativity costs? In the book Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve their True Potential and How You Can Achieve Yours, author Shirzad Charmine notes salespeople with a higher PQ, or positive intelligence quotient, sell 37 percent more than their lower-PQ counterparts. High-PQ managers are more accurate and careful in making decisions and get their work done with less effort.

We can all afford to be more positive. The good news is that, unlike our intelligence quotient (IQ), which is mostly fixed, we can improve our PQ.  Charmine has identified 10 internal saboteurs, or habitual mind patterns linked to our primal survival instincts, that prevent us from performing at our best. They are:

  • Judge. This is the master saboteur who causes us to find fault with ourself, others and our circumstances.
  • Stickler. Insists on perfection, order and organization.
  • Pleaser. Seeks acceptance and affection through helping, pleasing, rescuing or flattering others.
  • Hyper-achiever. Must constantly perform and achieve for self-respect and validation.
  • Victim. Needs attention by getting others to feel emotional and temperamental.
  • Hyper-rational. Intensely focuses on the rational processing of everything, including relationships.
  • Hyper-vigilant. Anxiously focuses on everything that could go wrong.
  • Restless. Constantly searches for greater excitement in the next activity or through constant busyness.
  • Controller. Needs to take charge, control situations and bend others to its own will.
  • Avoider. Focuses on the positive and pleasant to the extreme and avoids difficult and unpleasant tasks and conflicts.

Which ones do you relate to? You can take a PQ Assessment here.

Now that you're more aware of these saboteurs, Charmine recommends jotting down instances when you noticed your brain was in survivor mode, where the saboteur lives, and how you caught yourself or fell victim to it and suffered the consequences.

Soon, you will be operating more from your PQ brain, where your sage lives. The sage employs five responses that allow us to perform at our best: empathy, exploration, innovation, navigation and decisive action.

Saboteur or sage? You decide.

Tricia Molloy 
is a corporate leadership speaker and the author of
 Working with Wisdom. She works to inspire professionals to be more positive and productive through keynote speeches and employee development talks, workshops and webinars.

Views expressed in signed blogs and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and sponsors.

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