Go Beyond – A Matter of Standards

Positivity! Positivity! Positivity! There is more to positivity than just being POSITIVE! It’s called REALITY! It’s great to have a positive outlook and mindset. Please do. In the process, don’t forget to be real. The following picture is a GIF from Google+ that I really appreciate.

A lack of reality and knowledge can be dangerous.

A lack of reality and knowledge can be dangerous.

Confidence is great and should be a part of everyone’s character. Positivity is wonderful, enjoyable and attracts more positivity. Don’t embrace positivity alone. Embrace reality, too. No matter how positive you are (about “who you are” — “what you do” — “what you are capable of doing” — “where you are going”) in life, there is the need to be real and appropriate. Dr. Henry Cloud said, “Beware of “positive thinking.”  (Do take a moment to review the Tweet and his other messages. Outstanding.)

We need to have people in our lives who help us to not only be positive but be realistic. I have worked with youth for a long time. I enjoy encouraging those around me to go for it. However, I also deal with the realistic aspects of setting and achieving goals.

This is a time of year where many youth are preparing for internships. In my discussion with them, I will cover all aspects of working in a professional environment. It takes more than a positive attitude about yourself. Who are you? How do you think? What do you want? How will you contribute to your team? How will you appear – attitude and dress? Etc. Etc.

Go beyond the corporate offices, to other places of employment such as restaurants. Recently while enjoying lunch with someone, I watched two people walk by in professional kitchen (chef) attire. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the sagging uniform pants. Really? Why would you wear your uniform pants sagging (not just loosely/baggy)? I don’t want to hear the “no one sees me” in the kitchen excuse. I will not say what restaurant the two employees represented. But, they were walking in an area where many professionals and others dine for lunch. The business represented is well-known for fine dining and expects its employees to uphold its standards.

How would you feel if someone misrepresent you and your standards? Ask yourself that question personally and professionally? Answer it in not only a positive mindset but a realistic mindset.

Let’s look at two examples – the restaurant employees and a receptionist.

1. If you owned a well-known restaurant chain and someone approached you and said, “I saw two of your employees and one was dressed in your uniform inappropriately. I thought he was going to hang out on the streets with friends. His pants were sagging so that the seat were near his knees. Is that the standard that you set?” How would you, the owner, feel about this misrepresentation?

What would your response and action be?

2. You are an Executive in a corporate office. A friend comes to visit because you are going to have lunch to discuss outreach to under-served youth. Your friend says, “When I arrived, I walked back out because I thought I was in the wrong place.” You say, “Why?” Your friend responds, “Your receptionist is dressed like she’s headed to a club to hear a rock band. Her hair is purple and all over the place. Her blouse is see-through with undergarments to match her hair. Her makeup is a little over the top. You haven’t seen her today?” You respond, “No, you have to be kidding me. That’s not our dress code. Excuse me a second. I need to call my Executive Assistant now to ask her to handle this issue. I cannot allow our organization to be represented like this.”

How would you have responded?

After these scenarios, do you think there’s more to being a positive person? While you have a right to be who you are, wear what you want, style your hair how you want and other aspects of being you, your employer has standards. If you want to be a part of the team, you must follow those standards.

I understand that some of you may “feel” that others are trying to change “who you are” as an individual. That is not true. Reality is that there are standards in life. Just as you have standards, so do others. If you must have things your way, be an entrepreneur and set your own standards.

Kreatively Synt to go beyond positivity to reality

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