consuming bad news: a new spin on you are what you eat

Even though there’s been a bit more encouraging news about the state of the economy, the media (mainstream and otherwise) still inundates us with story after story of global, national, local, professional and personal crises in the face of the financial undertow. Even my 8-year-old – who’s mood largely rises and falls with the performance of his beloved New York Mets – told me the other day that people on the news look so unhappy or angry that “they should just call it the ‘bad news hour.’”

He makes a great point. As lawyers, on the professional front alone, we consume huge helpings of bad news every day – from mainstream media coverage of the economic downturn to niche stories on the sorry state of the legal profession and the latest tallies on law firm firings and closures. It can be a real challenge to not get weighed down and stressed out on this steady diet of negativity.

So, I was very heartened to read a great Harvard Business post in which leadership consultant John Baldoni compels us to Find Ways to Make Good News. Baldoni opens by crediting CNN for its coverage of the life and death of Stephen Tyrone Johns, a Holocaust Museum security guard who was shot and killed in the line of duty by a white supremacist. He then asserts that business leaders owe themselves and their “people” a “break from the relentless progress of bad news.” To help them along, Baldoni suggests that they find and share one piece of good news every day. Or, taking it a step further, they can make some good news via their own positive actions.

You’ll find some complementary tips and tools in this New York Times story on Dealing with Recession-Related Stress. If you’re in the Washington, DC Metro Area on June 24-26, my friend and colleague Charlie Badenhop is leading a stress management workshop for coaches, consultants, leaders and other professionals. You can learn more about it here.


2 Responses to “consuming bad news: a new spin on you are what you eat”
  1. Great post, Arnie! I think we need both positive news to counteract the bad, and a negative news “diet” of turning off the TV. Charlie Badenhop’s workshop looks excellent.
    I just posted a link to this blog on Twitter.

  2. Charlie says:

    Hi Arnie,
    As always, thanks so much for your support and friendship!

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