People Notice the Negative

We know that if we have a negative experience at a restaurant or store we tell more people than when we have a positive experience. That seems to be human nature.

Catching up with friends and relatives outside Canada the last few weeks and invariably they mentioned the mayor of Toronto. All the latest Canadian accomplishments and endeavours (hello Chris Hadfield) go unmentioned. But the Toronto mayor receives attention.

In my workshops I often make an analogy between manners and polished shoes. No one will notice our clean and polished shoes. They will notice scruffy, unkempt shoes. No one will notice a proper business introduction or the inconspicuous manner in which the cheque was handled at a business lunch. They will notice the inappropriate handshake or lack of networking skills.

It’s because of this emphasis of the negative that I make an effort to tell parents in a restaurant when their children are well behaved and a delight. It’s so easy for us to roll our eyes and send a scowl to the parents of misbehaving children.

As one year ends and a new one begins I want to let all of you know that I appreciate your appearance at my blog. I look forward to your comments and value your input. May the year ahead be all you wish. Be kind.22000017NY2014 copy_1

About etiquetteottawa

Founder and Owner of the Protocol School Of Ottawa
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2 Responses to People Notice the Negative

  1. Ron Scott says:

    DARN……..I’m devastated….thought all these years that people would notice my shiny shoes!!!

    Well, at least I do mention well behaved children to parents….totally agree!


    Positivity in communication is good therapy, as is the word ‘and’. I love this exercise:

    Using the word ‘but’ not only negates what was said before, it puts communication into a defensive mode. For example, “I love the article you wrote but I have a few changes I want to make.” The listener hears, the article was not good. Change ‘but’ to ‘and’, “I love the article you wrote and I have a few changes.” Feel the shift and positive spin that ‘and’ gives to the conversation?

    Modifying language skills to include ‘and’—AND delivering your message with shiny shoes is a #1 positive performance!

    Happy MMXIV wishes to you!

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