Psychology Today reports that a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has found a link between cynicism and economic success.
Researchers evaluated data from around the world and discovered that high levels of cynicism are associated with lower income. Researchers report that after nine years, cynical participants earned $300 per month less than their more positive counterparts.
I agree totally with Rich Karlgaard, when he shares in his book, The Soft Edge: Where Companies Find Lasting Success, that “…mocking irony, snark and cynicism are toxic to your company’s culture…when it thrives in an organization, it signals a lack of employee trust. Once cynicism gets a foothold in your culture, it spreads — just like an ill-advised tweet or blog post. You need to proactively fight it.’’
As a crusader for change in workplace culture and how we develop people at work, it shocks me how even many HR & Learning and Development people are cynical.
Take the example of our experience days and afternoons.
They are free.
You get a free iAM – potentially life changing.
You get a free morning of personal development – potentially career changing.
You get a free delicious lunch or afternoon tea – yes, they totally exist in the realism of normal human kindness.
And you get a free 1:1 development session and the opportunity to learn from others – potentially business changing.
And yet for some, maybe even you, ask, “what’s the catch”?
What is wrong with kindness, giving, receiving and no catch in business? Our cynicism appears to have taken over. What are your immediate reactions to something that seems “too good to be true?”
In the last week in my business world three people have offered help, ideas and introductions out of pure kindness and a will to make a difference to the world, to spread our foothold in transforming the way the world develops people – as a force for good in the world. Not out for themselves and what can they get out of it. But for you, for us!
Do I react with cynicism? No! I say thank you and offer to help right back. Yet this exchange of human giving and kindness appears to be severely eroding in our business cultures.
Cynicism is a psychological self-protection mechanism and a habit that is eroding our workplace culture and stifling innovation in how we work.
Are you in L&D & HR? Come to one of our Experience days or afternoons and get some amazing change for yourself, your career and your business, without cynicism, for free!
Not in L&D & HR? Recognise kindness, engagement and help and accept it! Give it and encourage it without cynicism and feel its power to grow you, others and your business.
By doing so you will be helping to transform our business world.