Dear Wounded: Recently I was having lunch with some coworkers and I realized that every word coming out of my mouth was negative. What can I do to become less cynical?
Answer: Your email reminded me of the school board election in Mississippi County, Arkansas, earlier this fall. There was no winner, because not one person voted in the entire election. Not even Carl Miner, a candidate for the school board, who just so happened to be the only person whose name appeared on the ballot.
It is always easy to sit back and adopt the cynical position, "nothing that I do or say will matter". Miner found out that even when just one person stands up to be counted it can make a world of difference. It's no different at work where just a few people can change the attitude of an entire workplace. I've listed some ways to do this below. For more, check out Diana De Lonzoe's book "Never Be Late Again" (Post Madison, 2003)
If we all vote to do nothing, there is no way to change the cynicism and negativity that many of us face each day at work. Vote yes on making work a better place and you'll find many other people ready to follow your efforts.
We'd like to hear your strategy for dealing with cynicism at work. I'll give an autographed copy of "Working Wounded: Advice that adds insight to injury" (Warner, 2000) to the best submission. Send your entry, name & address via: http://workingwounded.com or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries must be received by Wednesday (Jan. 12).
Check back next week for results from the workingwounded.com/ABCNEWS.com online ballot, and see how other readers feel about their jobs.
"Career is too pompous a word. It was a job, and I have always felt privileged to be paid for what I love doing."
Barbara Stanwyck, actress.