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| 1 minute read

Is there a positive to negative thinking?

Most anytime leadership is spoken or written about, the word "positive" is a key attribute given to a great leader.  In general, people want to follow individuals who have a positive outlook and simply think positively.

However, negativity has a role to play when it comes to minimizing risk and being prepared for possible outcomes. Negative thinking allows alternative results to be considered and supports back-up planning, which otherwise might be overlooked.

The beauty of having a "devil's advocate" approach is that the desired results and the process agreed upon to get to those results can be effectively challenged.  

A good leader may need to be someone who is able to balance positive and negative thinking, or be the one who allows their positive thinking to be openly challenged so that they can consider opposing points of view and see the value of those considerations.

As mobility teams work with talent management leaders or hiring managers to plan for relocating talent to support business initiatives, there is definitely a place for someone to raise up the potential negatives they see that could possibly unfold and have them considered.  Asking those "what if" questions may ultimately save the company an immense amount of time, money, and/or resources!

One would think ample snow would be a given in the Winter Olympics, but it wasn’t readily supplied for Vancouver’s 2010 games. Warm weather and lack of snowfall on Cypress Mountain near Vancouver, British Columbia, forced the event’s organizers to go with its contingency plan, which involved carting snow from other mountains, stockpiling man-made snow and adding bales of straw to help create courses needed for competitions. By doing a test event the winter prior, the Vancouver Organizing Committee officials could see the possibilities of failure, according to The New York Times. Had officials held an overly positive outlook and not planned for the potential for little snowfall, the event could have faced a greater challenge than it already did.


global mobility, risk management, positive thinking, negative thinking, talent management, project management, hiring managers, leadership