I was just rereading the Actionable Book Summary I submitted on Tom Rath's Are You Fully Charged? The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life, and the part about how being positive affects those we love struck a nerve.
We all have to remain positive and careful not only in our demeanor, but also in the words we choose. Especially in an age when so much communication is via text—whether e-mail, phone texting, or some collaborative communication tool such at Skype or Hipchat—words can so easily be misconstrued.
Imagine this scenario. Someone asks or does something that inadvertently pisses you off. They've done nothing inappropriate but unfortunately have bad timing. Instead of just spewing your crankiness at them via a quick and to-be-regretted response, take a walk or a deep breath and think twice. Is it worth spreading your negativity and ruining someone else's mood?
Or even if someone did something you consider wrong, there's a way of expressing your concern and criticism that is appropriate and constructive and there's a way that's definitely not.
Imagine a peer's team member makes a request that you believe is redundant and wastes your time. You can quickly send a curt e-mail taking umbrage at your peer...or you can take a minute to catch some perspective and calm, and realize there is probably more to the situation. Instead of spreading negativity and creating friction, ask instead of assume and work together to come up with a solution.
Words are powerful: they can wound or heal; they can inspire or demoralize. They can make someone happy to be a part of your team and willing to go the extra mile to help you...or they can make someone wish they were anywhere else but around you and your harmful words.
Which kind of energy would you prefer to be around? Which kind of energy are you sharing?