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How to be Judged 132% More Effective as a Leader

Negative environments are built by default.

50% of our emotional vocabulary describes negative emotion. 30% describes positive emotion. 20% is neutral. Robert Schrauf

You have more words for negative energy than positive emotion.

The problem of negativity is compounded when you realize that only one of your core emotions is universally positive. (Anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise.)

Go positive:

Happy leaders are judged to be 132% more effective than negative leaders. (NYT)

If perception matters, cheer up.

The real you:

The words you use tell others who you are. You might think that persistent criticism, for example, is a useful leadership quality. Others call you negative.

Emotion is energy.

Conversations establish direction and create emotion.  


  1. Corrodes optimism.
  2. Inspires fear.
  3. Drains energy.
  4. Invites defensiveness.
  5. Causes anger.


If you’re a critic, people hate seeing you walk into a room. They wish you’d go away. If they could, they’d avoid you.

The habit of criticism springs from arrogance.

You complain because you want others to think and act like you think and act.

One hour project for critics:

Determine to spend one hour only using language that builds up people and teams. No criticism allowed for one hour. If you’re brave, try it for a morning.

Don’t hide in your office for your one hour project.

How might leaders stop relying on criticism to improve people and processes?

How might leaders approach negative situations with a ‘build up’ approach?


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