Good Vibrations

November 4, 2010 | Comments | Uncategorized

The Beach Boys released their hit single Good Vibrations in 1966, and it became a part of my everyday language. “I’m getting good vibes from her” or “I’m getting some bad vibes from him” were common expressions in my high school and college.

Today, I talk about “energy” instead of “vibrations”, and whether the energetic field of someone is positive or negative, and whether it is supportive or challenging. When someone is joyful, playful, focused, and productive, the energy is almost always complementary and inspiring; when someone is boastful or bullying, being in their presence can be quite a challenge.

Don’t get me wrong: I think there are times when being very assertive, even aggressive, can be quite beneficial (such as when a person is sitting on their backside, not meeting their commitments, playing the victim, and other tactics aren’t working), but I find that attitude counter-productive in all but very small quantities.

As a leader, it is your responsibility to build your team focusing on many factors, including whether the “vibrations” of the proposed teammate will contribute to the overall health and performance of the team. If someone detracts from the productivity of the people around him/her, then the collateral damage must be factored into the equation. Arrogance, antagonism, constant complaining, worrying, and despair are just not that healthy for anyone.

So when you are thinking about adding someone to your team, consider not only their competence and their ability to get the job done in a reasonable time frame and at a reasonable cost, but also consider the impact of their emotional states and attitudes.

Because it is the performance of the team, not the performance of any one individual, that matters most.

Questions: Think about some talented but challenging people you have worked with. Do you need or want someone like that on your team?

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