By Evan Coulter
The world needs more level-headed thinkers who sometime take a slightly negative view of things, right? I’m sure you’re all nodding, “Yes!”
For those who do not know, I’ve acquired a bit of a rep as a “pessimist” which is just another word for “cautious thinker who wants to examine all of the angles.” I’d like to think that I’m simply adding diversity to a team of relentlessly positive people who see the upside to everything (looking at you, Paula!).
Actually, being called a pessimist is fine with me. I’ve been one all of my life. When a new subject comes up, my mind tends to find the “negatives” before I slide over to the “positives.” Maybe it’s my engineering mindset?
I think having different personalities on a team is a good thing. Some companies are stocked with “yes” men and women. This is good for the CEO’s ego, but not so good for the company. Our mix of personalities at UCEC makes us stronger.
My negativity isn’t the unhelpful “this is horrible” type of caution. It’s more like I approach a problem and consider the things we might have to tweak a bit and then we’ll be that much further ahead.
When we were considering purchasing the Steinhauer CNC machine, I remember a meeting in which pretty much everyone was on board and ready to go. I definitely raised my hand and asked about the not-so-great parts...what were the things that might have to be managed later on?
Of course, the Steinhauer has been fantastic. And I’m proud we went forward with it. Perhaps adding my bit of pessimism was good for the team as we considered every angle.
There’s definitely a balance when it comes to adding the pessimist’s perspective. I try to consider all the sides. But I’m also willing to add a cold dose of reality to discussions when necessary. All of us, pessimists and optimists, have value to add to our daily work discussions and decisions.
Now, to settle the eternal question: Yes, the glass is half empty.
Evan is the VP of Business Operations for UCEC.