EMAIL #113 - 27TH MARCH 2021 - "POSITIVE INTENT"
I have had the last week to pontificate and ruminate on my feelings about the ongoing legal dispute with a very disgruntled Brighton client and the old saying that "time heals all wounds" is starting to ring true! I feel I am an optimist and try not to let shitty circumstances get me down for too long.
In last week's email I posed the question "how can two intelligent people have such vastly different viewpoints about the same set of circumstances?" A recent article by Robert Glazer called "Positive Intent" has provided me with some of the answer.
Whenever two people sit down to negotiate or mediate an issue or dispute, the outcome is most often determined by the positive or negative mindset possessed by each of the participants. To make any real progress during a mediation session each person must have some degree of positive intent and be open minded about the opinions and beliefs of the other party. A week after my mediation session with said client, it is now obvious that his "positive intent" has been non-existent for some time and the all-day mediation was destined for total failure from the get-go.
"When our actions are based on good intentions our soul has no regrets." A.D. Williams
To have positive intent you must believe that someone has good intentions and is trying their best. However, positive intent struggles to survive without trust and once you lose trust or faith in someone it is very difficult to maintain positive intent towards that person. Likewise, without trust "negative intent" can become someone’s default setting. This is exactly what has happened with the Brighton client as he has stated several times that he has lost all faith in me as a person and as a builder. I also believe that positive or negative intent is a decision that can dramatically affect our thoughts and our behaviour and that over time a negative mindset trains your brain to distrust everyone and breeds deep set cynicism.
"I don't believe that people wake up thinking who can I treat poorly today." Mary Francis Winters
I recently read an article about Indra Nooyi (who recently stepped down as the global CEO of PepsiCo where she was the second highest paid female executive on earth). The article was mainly about her optimistic attitude and positive leadership style. For me, the most powerful take away from this article is the following quote, "when you assume negative intent, you're angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed at how your whole approach to a problem becomes very different."
At the end of the day I would much rather live with a positive mindset and always try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Life is too short and is too precious to be angry and negative!
Thanks for reading,
Stay safe and have positive intent in everything you do.