Just touched down in Dubai after spending 6 days in Budapest and 3 in Switzerland.
Hungarians are known for their negativity – complaints everywhere, from TV and neighbours to family and even the bus driver. It's like a nationwide sport. I mean, they had a New Year's Eve program counting down the top 20 famous Hungarians who fell from fame and died in poverty or committed suicide. I'm left wondering, why the obsession with making everyone depressed?
Contrast that with the UAE where the leadership encourages progress, tolerance, and peace. In Hungary, it's all about listing reasons why you can't succeed. The result? A dismal economy, a gloomy atmosphere, and a communist mindset that fosters dependence on the state. I had an argument with my father about the National Health Service as he didn't like it when I told him that we needed to transition to private insurance. He said it is the government's job to look after people. I told him that because of this mindset, we are where we are.
Then I thought this is why you must fire negative employees and those who are dependent on their employers for their development and sometimes even their welfare. Helping people and lifting them up is necessary, however, when people behave like donkeys that need to be pushed this is where I draw the line.
Dependency and negativity, god knows I cannot stand either of them and maybe the reason is because I grew up in that. Negativity spreads like cancer and if you allow it as a leader you will end up like Hungary. People complain, argue, are pessimistic, and helpless. Organisations just like countries need positive governments that push down the message of "Let's do better." I am not saying to ignore problems, on the contrary, face them and find solutions.
As I am writing this I can recall a few of my previous leaders and managers who were negative. They moaned and whined most of the time but did very little to make things better. Our hotel or department was stuck. In fact, I can see a correlation between those who don't complain but make things happen. I like those people.
So leaders and managers, the lesson here is really simple. Start with yourself because the message you pass down will influence the workplace just like the Hungarian government's negativity influences its people. As for negative and dependent employees, help them, and explain to them the difference between raising issues and complaining. If they cannot turn the corner say goodbye to them because a positive mindset does make a difference.
But before you do make sure they get the necessary help because you are changing people's mindset here which is not an easy thing to do. Here is a simple trick I often use, when someone says why something couldn't work and then lists 3 reasons why it would work. The second trick is when someone is unnecessarily negative just ask them to give you 3 things that work for them right now. This way you are training the brain to see the positives while not dismissing problems or negative experiences.
PS: Look at the kind of messages we constantly received during the COVID outbreak. A stark contrast between other governments' doom and gloom which I believe got us out of the situation much quicker. On the 7th of June 2020, we re-opened the country!
I know what type of leadership I would rather live under. Is it perfect? Nothing is, so don't get started with the "Yes but..."
Negativity and dependency are in our DNA, that is our culture and it is time someone woke Hungarians up. I always fantasise about having the UAE's leadership govern Hungary for like 10 years and see what they would be able to do:-)))