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Do You Hate


What You Love?



That’s not as surprising a thought as you might think. On the spectrum of emotions, “Hate” and “Love” are not at opposite ends. In fact, they are remarkably close to one another. At the extreme opposite end from both of these emotions is “Indifference.” 

When a child, or puppy, or employee seeks positive attention (praise, pats and pets, a bonus), and doesn’t get it, she or he or it will turn around and begin to start seeking negative attention, because even negative attention (a scolding, for example) is better than no attention . . . or indifference! 

See, and you thought all those upstart types were just masochists. Nope, but it is true that those who get to a point of losing all hope for receiving attention of any variety stumble along the edges of depression, and can easily become prime prospects for illness, abandonment, homelessness, addiction, violence, even suicide. 

Okay, so indifference is the worst and arguably most destructive emotion? And love and hate are like cousins or something? Yeah. 

Well, don’t we sometimes love those we hate and hate those we love? 

How about the jobs we do? The employees we work with? Our clients, customers, patients, vendors, consultants, advisors? Spouses? Children? Siblings? Parents? Hey, let’s face it — it’s the stuff books and movies and TV shows are made of. 

But we seldom stop to think it through, right? The point is EVERYone needs recognition, or “strokes” as the shrinks call it. The challenge in motivating others is trying to figure out what kinds of strokes work best for each of them (See Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy) at any given moment, and being willing and able to reward each individual in the way(s) that is(are) most meaningful to that person. 

A trophy or plaque or certificate or news release feature doesn’t mean much to someone who’s struggling to pay the rent. A pay raise for a social worker isn’t as much of a motivational factor as a program grant that covers counseling resource expenses. Increased job opportunities are in fact often more sought after by employees than increased benefits.

Indifference (especially lack of recognition or appreciation) makes hateful people more hateful, and turns those who want to give or seek love headed in other directions. So where does that leave us? As business leaders, Responsibility One is to motivate and teach by example. So . . . 

Pack up your feelings of indifference toward others. Stow them away with your ambivalence in a locked attic trunk. Open, instead, your mind and your heart to accept the weaknesses of others as you would wish them to accept yours. Open minds open doors.

Watch what happens when you recognize and appreciate that others often say and do what they say and do because they seek your kindness, your pat on their head (or their back, or shoulder, or hand) plus your patience . . . and, of course, your smile. 


That IS a great smile you have, btw.

Pass it on to the next person

  you see after you read this!  


 NOTE: This blog article was originally posted two years ago in August, 2008. I have elected to repeat it here today because it touches on some sensitive leadership issues that have surfaced for a number of small business owners I’ve heard from recently.


302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One comment so far


  1. Hal Alpiar’s Blog » BUSINESS CRASHon 02 Mar 2011 at 9:58 pm

    […] settle for frequent (and genuine) praise and small, frequent expressions of gratitude. And happy employees don’t indulge themselves in orange-alert-level chatter. They don’t host or entertain […]

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