Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The curse of negativity?

Josh Lindenmuth (1029922) writes | more than 7 years ago

User Journal 3

Have you ever wondered why the impact of negative actions is so much greater than those of positive actions? For instance, I've seen seemingly loyal and happy employees quit in rage after a single negative comment by a briefly inconsiderate manager or coworker was directed towards them. On the other hand, it seems to take hundreds of compliments and positive statements to create a similar level of fanatacism towards an organization.Have you ever wondered why the impact of negative actions is so much greater than those of positive actions? For instance, I've seen seemingly loyal and happy employees quit in rage after a single negative comment by a briefly inconsiderate manager or coworker was directed towards them. On the other hand, it seems to take hundreds of compliments and positive statements to create a similar level of fanatacism towards an organization.

How does the saying go ... trust takes a lifetime to build and a moment to break? How different the world would be if we could instantly build trust that would take years to destroy ...

cancel ×

3 comments

curse of negativity ~= risk/reward of trust? (1)

yakiimo (1024339) | more than 7 years ago | (#16945492)

Hi there, just have seen a lot of comments from you recently and then noticed your journal entry.

I doubt anyone fully understands it, but I assume that evolution/reality has eliminated variations of people that trusted much without sufficient cause for that trust. They become exploited by others even if not intentionally. I think that is the reason you would not see a non-isolated group of people develop significantly faster, closer trust relationships than the average that we all deal with. On first thought actually, whatever variations there are in humans trust and lack thereof I think we still depend on trust for our survival more than any other macro-organism.

On the point of the discrepancy in scale of positive and negative reactions, I guess it is the same issue but with some kind of biological modifier that I don't understand :) Probably can be explained with game theory and the like where the risk for loss by maintaining trust in the face of contrary evidence is emotionally weighted more than the potential for gain.

I have seen some of the same behavior that you mention in the workplace. There are some cases where regardless of what the employer/manager has been attempting to accomplish with the relationship, the employee just does not trust them for various reasons. In those cases, a callous remark or something similar is just a trigger for opening up what they have canned up over time.

In the general case though, I would guess that those who react strongly to one negative event over many positive events are (intentionally or unintentionally) making inferences (correct or incorrect) about other things from that comment that break assumptions on which their trust was based. From there, some people put up with a lot even with a loss of trust, and some have very low tolerance. For everyone one that blows up, there very well could be one who absorbs other incidents quietly (and maybe blowing up later :)

Re:curse of negativity ~= risk/reward of trust? (1)

Josh Lindenmuth (1029922) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949282)

wow - never even thought about the evolutionary aspect of trust ... great thoughts!

Camel's Back (1)

bettiwettiwoo (239665) | more than 7 years ago | (#16995806)

I think it might be more of a 'straw that broke the camel's back' kind of thing: the employee that quit might have been walking around with a building feeling of discontent - irrespective of positive response and encouragement; also, that feeling might have nothing (much) to do with their professional life - and then that one negative comment comes alongs, which makes that person's life just one-too-many-many-negative-things-to-bear and KABOOM! he/she explodes.

The effects of positive feedback is probably also harder to detect (they often resemble 'business as usual').
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...