Cynicism is an attitude characterized by a general distrust of others' motives. A cynic may have a general lack of faith or hope in the human species or people motivated by ambition, desire, greed, gratification, materialism, goals, and opinions that a cynic perceives as vain, unobtainable, or ultimately meaningless and therefore deserving of ridicule or admonishment. A common misapplication of this attitude involves its attribution to individuals who emote well-thought-out expressions of skepticism.
If there is one thing any organisation should aim to eliminate completely from its culture, that is cynicism.
Cynicism is a symptom of something that is lacking in someones life, its not a natural 'by default' Human trait, it is a conditioned mind-set that is very difficult to manage because its part of a defensive mechanism that aims to avoid disappointment at all costs.
To me it is infuriating because its such an irrational and unscientific state, believing that an output will not change given a different set of input goes directly against the scientific method and the experimental approach that is a Human Trait. We learn through trial and error, mostly error, this work-flow is a direct antagonist to the cynics approach.
Cynics deny the existence of variables and treat the future as a constant, its an inferior illogical approach that often is highly contagious, as most easy things in life are. Its like fast food for the mind, being a cynic is easy, effortless and evasive.
How to spot a Cynic inside your organisation?
- They tend to think they are the smartest person in the room without really sharing their ideas,
- They reject any new idea almost instantly,
- A lot of eye rolling and general bad attitude even in the most casual of meetings,
- They instigate negativity in others,
- They use objection as a tool to elevate themselves versus actually use it to build or move forward,
- They tend to think successful people are lucky, see no merit in others,
- Will be the ones making remarks like: management is clueless without really having been in the role and understanding the inherent complexities of a job of that nature,
- Think they can do a better job in any role,
- They have a deep sense of entitlement,
- They rarely showcase to the public their own ideas. They talk about it, but when the time comes to actually surface them, they dont.
- They do not tolerate criticism from others,
- Their productivity is murky and difficult to measure,
- They often are very articulate in the way they speak, but they weaponise communication.
Cynicism is the opposite of growth and improvement. We can only truly improve if we embrace failure and deep down believe things can be better if your our input changes, this is a principle that I will stand by until my last day on this earth.