Pessimistic Thinking

4 Ways To Work With a Pessimistic Thinker

Don't Rain On My ParadeYou’re tempted to walk the other way when you see him coming. You zone out when he starts talking in a meeting. Occasionally he inspires humor, but more often, the Pessimistic Thinker awakens the negativity in those around him.

However, the doctor’s dose of reality is worth hearing. The Pessimistic Thinker might be called the devil’s advocate, but he’s also a team’s advocate, whether they know it or not. He can identify common pitfalls, hidden risks, and flaws in your own thinking. Sometimes his advice is hard to hear, but there are ways to improve your relationship with this thinker.

Approach Him With Compassion

While he may present an icy demeanor and inspire the same in return, this individual responds to friendliness. You can offer him the respect he demands, while still appealing to him as a friend. The Pessimistic Thinker is nobody’s fool, but even he is not immune to the art of persuasion.

Give Him His Say

Often, the Pessimistic Thinker simply needs to be heard – to get it out there, so he doesn’t kick himself later when the worst happens. If the pessimistic thinker’s timing is wrong, such as during brainstorming, let him know that he will have a later opportunity to identify risks. Show him you value his input and that you will take his ideas into consideration. Read the rest of this entry »

Optimize Your Thinking…In the News!

Business Leaders can optimize the performance of their teams and results of their efforts when they read the newly revised edition of the classic book,Optimize Your Thinking®, which is being published today. Below are just a handful of the hundreds of media outlets that picked up the story. Click on any of the images below for all the details  and be sure to download your two FREE chapters today!



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Pessimistic Thinking: See the Upside of the Downside

Dr. Disaster“The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.” – George F. Will, Columnist & Author

Studies have shown that Pessimistic Thinking can be a detriment to your health, a symptom of depression, a disadvantage in the popularity contest, or even a precursor to failure. In 2002, a study published by scientists at the Mayo Clinic showed that people who expect misfortune don’t live as long as those with a more optimistic way of thinking. In a 2004 study, Dutch scientists discovered that self-described pessimists often had higher rates of cardiovascular death than optimists. So as you can see, the outlook for pessimistic thinkers is not so optimistic.

Understandably, you may ask why Pessimistic Thinking is even targeted as a way of thinking. This valid question has a complex answer. It may help you to consider that Pessimistic Thinking is also a form of “realistic” thinking. When making an important decision, a rose-colored, optimistic view can blind you to obvious problems. A dose of reality from the pessimistic thinker can save you and those working with you from preventable failure by revealing areas of risk you might not otherwise see.

Secondly, you will inevitably work with a pessimistic thinker. Learning to appreciate this person’s input will broaden your understanding and patience for this thinking style. And, finally, at some point you might lead a person or a team that’s focused on the downside – and possibly weakened because of it.


As a Thinker…

Can you effectively weigh risks and pinpoint trouble spots before they happen?

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What Makes a Good Leader?

GoldfishGreat thinkers aren’t necessarily good leaders. Sheer intelligence can get you far, but it’s your acute perceptions of people that make you an effective leader. With an eye on the group’s success, a leader positions each thinker in a role that suits his or her abilities – bringing out the best in those they lead.

The effective leader is a savvy reader of human nature. But we are not all born with this ability. Using the 8 Ways of Thinking, you can gain unique insight into your team’s motivations and behaviors. When you know how your team members perceive and process the world, you can create an environment that fosters productivity and contentment. Read the rest of this entry »

Use Different Perspectives To Your Advantage

As you work to become an “optimized” thinker, you will want to consider that every situation has numerous perspectives – and your perspective depends on the thinking style you use. As a team member, this will help you to recognize that not everyone has to see a situation as you do. The resulting understanding can forge stronger bonds, giving you greater influence and an intrinsic sense of harmony.

brainHow to “Optimize” Your Relationships

The ability to work well with others is essential to high performance. A person might have all the indicators of success – an Ivy League degree, an impressive resume, even a genius IQ – but without people skills, these credentials lose relevance in the workplace.

The 8 Ways of Thinking (Inventive, Analytical, Pessimistic, Assertive, Intuitive, Altruistic, Optimistic, and Resolute) provide a rare insight into the complex thinking processes of those around you. if you feel like someone’s from another planet, he or she might just have a different thinking style than you do. In fact, this person’s abilities could be the perfect complement to your own – not in spite of, but because of your differences. Read the rest of this entry »

Optimize Your Thinking and Abilities

Strong TeamSocrates said about life: the unexamined mind is “an unnecessary waste.” Simple self-awareness can help you overcome habitual thought patterns that have stunted – or locked – your performance potential. Recognizing the 8 Ways of Thinking (Inventive, Analytical, Pessimistic, Assertive, Intuitive, Altruistic, Optimistic, and Resolute) in others will further your understanding of the people around you, leading to greater patience and greater influence.

Ultimately, your artful application of this knowledge will make you a uniquely effective leader. Not only can you position your performers where they will thrive, but you can also share the principles of “optimized” thinking to help them become well-rounded, multi-dimensional thinkers.

Optimize Your Thinking

Are you an “optimized” thinker? If so, you can effectively use all 8 Ways of Thinking – even those ways that don’t come naturally to you. Most essentially, you know how to determine the best way of thinking to use for any given situation. Read the rest of this entry »

Change Your Mindset To Communicate Better

Change Your Mindset“One has to have the courage of one’s pessimism.” – Ian McEwan, Novelist

Often misunderstood and underutilized, the pessimistic thinker on a team has significant value to add if allowed to do so. He helps prevent shortsightedness, minimizing dangers that others don’t see. As the team member of a pessimistic thinker, you can gain their trust by showing that you have considered these risks.

Activity: Change Your Mindset

It has been said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. For this reason alone, it’s in your best interest to adapt your thinking to better communicate with those around you. If the pessimistic thinker is hurting your team’s dynamics, you can’t dismiss or relegate him to a meaningless task. You need each other’s strengths. To best work together, you may not be able to change this person – but you can change your own mindset. Read the rest of this entry »

See Problems While Offering Solutions

Pessimistic Thinking can be a controversial style due to its negative implications. And deservingly so – studies show a continuously pessimistic state of mind can be hazardous to your health. However, the downside does exist in every situation, and your awareness of it will help you prevent the worst from happening. By identifying and avoiding potential pitfalls, you can achieve your best.Glass Half Empty or Half Full

The key to successful Pessimistic Thinking is knowing when and when not to use it. For example, do apply Pessimistic Thinking when you are planning for your next project – but don’t apply this style when trying to garner your team’s support.

Practice the uncommon ability to be pessimistic with positive effects. Your ability to see the downside gives you an advantage in the game of life, especially when you are able to see problems while offering solutions.

How to Be a Pessimistic Thinker

The irony of trying to be a pessimistic thinker is that you must avoid being too good at it – apply Pessimistic Thinking in small doses. Aim for the ability to use this trait without being ruled by it.

When the unexpected happens, do you assume the worst, overlook the threat, or evaluate and move on? Your reaction to a problem can either worsen or improve the situation. Depending on your style of thinking, you might panic at the threat of danger, which can exacerbate the situation, or you might downplay it – which can increase the danger as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Utilize Your Team’s Strengths

Strong TeamRemember, every strength, when carried to an extreme, can become a weakness. The Analytical Thinker can over-analyze. The Pessimistic Thinker can introduce a state of dread. The Assertive Thinker can break too many rules. The Intuitive Thinker can be emotionally biased. The Inventive Thinker can blow the budget with reinvention. The Altruistic Thinker can over-concern themselves with others’ issues. The Optimistic Thinker can overlook obvious risks. The Resolute Thinker can step on the toes of others.

By assigning suitable roles and advising your team to keep their strengths in check, you can build a team that’s primed for success. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Lead Your Group to the Ultimate Potential

Groups are as individual as people. Two groups of thinkers can tackle the same problem and devise drastically different solutions. It’s the chemistry, or thinking combination, that determines how a group behaves collectively.

Leading to SuccessWhen in charge of a group, you might have the opportunity to decide who will comprise your team. If this is the case, you will no doubt try to choose individuals who demonstrate signs of empowered thinking – they know how to maximize their strengths and minimize weaknesses.

Don’t forget that there’s room for “Dr. Disaster” on any team. While he may bring a cloud of negativity, through strategic leadership, you can help him harness his foresight for failure to benefit the team. Read the rest of this entry »