The value of pessimists

Posted by

Barry Siskind

UFIs Community Manager

You are holding an eight ounce glass that contains four ounces of water in your hand. Is it half empty or half full? This simple question has raged a debate among optimists and pessimists ever since the two began competing. So, which is right? Which is more productive? Which is the best characteristic of the employees you are about to hire? The answer is a bit more complex than one might expect. In a very interesting article by Journalist Wendy Leung for the Globe and Mail, the conclusion is that we need a well-balanced diet of both optimism and pessimism.

The article quotes Professor Elaine Fox of University of Essex in England as saying, “Even though there is some evidence of the benefits of optimism there are lots of good reasons for pessimism.”

Pessimists are in a good position to see potential hazards and can take defensive actions in advance to lessen the impact. In an industry such as exhibitions, where last minute problems and challenges are always lurking, having a pessimist on staff seems like a pretty good idea.

But don’t disregard the optimists. They are the folks who bring passion and excitement to their jobs. So, what is better – Optimists or pessimists? The article concludes that we absolutely need both sides.”

This is an enjoyable and interesting article that should be read by your whole staff.


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