Continuous negativity can cloud your message

As the economy started its recent downward slide, the overall mood of the country (and the Internet) has turned dark, too. This is only to be expected, of course, but it can bring about an even more insidious problem. It can cause your most important lessons and messages to be buried beneath the weight of negativity. In most cases, you might not recognize this is occurring, but your audience most certainly will.

The danger of continued negativity was brought home this week when I noticed that two of my favorite tech info sources seemed to be falling into a deep hole. Their blog posts and Twitter messages took on a darker and cynical tone. Nothing, it seemed, pleased them. Sure, there was an occasional gem buried among the doom and gloom, but it was becoming difficult to find the insight among the complaining. Even worse, I was wondering if it was even worth the trouble of looking for them.

…when you are addressing an issue, you must try to provide some possible solutions. Otherwise you’re simply complaining.

Let me be clear. I don’t recommend putting on a Pollyanna face and pretending all is sunshine and lollipops. Facing issues is the only way to solve them. Rather, when you are addressing an issue, you must try to provide some possible solutions. Otherwise you’re simply complaining. Further, these solutions should be a the forefront of your writing, posting or Twittering. Dwelling on an issue and then throwing out a possible solution at the end has little effect, even if your solution is top notch. It can’t counter the overwhelming bad feeling you have established.

On a related note, it is important to monitor the tone of your micro-blogging, using services like Twitter and Pownce. When quickly dashing off message after message, you can miss the overall town you are giving to your readers and followers. It is very easy to develop a reputation for cynicism, or downright meanness, as people start to see your messages as part of a whole. You might only think of them as small, individual message, but anyone reviewing a page of your posts sees the overall tone. If you want to gain a better understanding of how your are presenting yourself, you need to look back over your archived messages and view them as someone who had never heard from you before. What would they think of the person, and the message, related in those posts?

Problems, errors and omissions need to be addressed, but if you aren’t providing solutions…if your messages aren’t providing hope above scorn…you are likely to be branded as a simple curmudgeon. This damages you, your message and limits the impact we so all desire.

One thought on “Continuous negativity can cloud your message

  1. Hi, I landed on this blog through another search. I happen to believe that serious complaining or what you call negativity has its role in the present situation. Everyone who wants to speak out against something that’s wrong shouldn’t be burdened with having to come up with a solution each time for the following reasons:
    1) offering a particular solution early on may be counterproductive – because some of those who want to do something about the same problem, may be put off or distracted by the solution offered
    2) it may truly require massive mobilization of public opinion even to acknowledge that there is a problem, before a solution can be attempted
    3) there are always vested interests – economic or idealogical – that would want to deny that a problem even exists, and often they are better organized and capable of shouting louder – so offering an incomplete solution upfront would only allow them to pounce on any defects, and they would do everything to distract attention from the main issue – which is acknowledging that there is a problem.

    I do not know what issue you were referring to when you wrote your blog. But I hope you can see my logic as well.

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