The Naysaying Ninja

Home Forums Who’s That Villain? The Naysaying Ninja

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Tea Silvestre 5 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #635

    Tea Silvestre

    Villains in Each Quadrant:

    Negative way of looking at the world
    Undermines self-confidence
    Thinking about problems

    Plate is full – no time for extra training
    Don’t have the technology
    Not in the budget
    No buy-in from decision maker

    Looking at the world in a negative way
    Doesn’t realize there’s a different way to do things
    Keep doing things the same way over and over again

    Not sure about strengths
    Think it’s better to focus on problems, nip them in the bud

    (2 and 4) In the Naysaying Ninja, I’m capturing the villain that is focused on an individual’s and organizations weaknesses instead of their strengths, assets and successes. These qualities are in the internal conscious and unconscious realms. I’ve chosen this because it’s opposite to the mission of my business, to develop strengths-based leaders and organizations, and is something that undermines team success.

    I’ve posted my avatar in the FB group. Here’s the description:

    The Naysaying Ninja (also known as Negative Nellie) is that villain who is always focused on what’s wrong. She’s the first to point out the problems in an organzation and the people in it. This seriously undermines the self-confidence of all those who come in contact with her negative spin, which is often delivered in a stealthy, unconscious and sneaky way. Without seeing her coming or even realizing she’s there, she can undercut and destabilize the best of intentions. When she’s exerting her damaging negative force, people don’t ask the questions that can move them forward, like, “What have I done well in the past that can help me in this situation?” but are more likely to ask questions like, “What’s wrong with me?” or “What’s my problem?” all of which make people feel worse and stop them in their tracks. This ninja is a powerful force that disrupts motivation, action and leaves a person feeling helpless, depressed, self-sabotaging, and just wanting to give up. With a swipe of her naywaying sword, she can undercut and derail a project, a leader or a team, leaving them demoralized and lacking energy, focus and confidence.

  • #639


    It seems to me the voices in our heads are our most potent villains. Glad to see you take this on.

  • #653

    Tea Silvestre

    Yes, and sadly, most employers don’t grok that she’s the real problem in their organization.

    Great villain-pouncing!

  • #674

    Tea Silvestre

    This type of villain (or characteristic trait) is so toxic to organizations. One of my co-workers was one of these, and to some degree – so is my husband.

    Even if they’re technically right with a lot of time with their (negative) questions + assessments, it’s exhausting experience for the rest of us to be around them and want to share anything. Oddly, both of these individuals are very intelligent, quick on their feet (like supa-quick!). They immediately find problems with design and ideas, almost instantaneously.

    I’ve seen other smart people who notice issues react differently. They just listen. They nod their head. And then they ask, “Hmmm…how would that work?” or “Could this be a problem: …” – but they’re trying to really find a solution rather than go all chicken little that the world is falling so it won’t work. The way they highlight a flaw feels like it’s coming from a different place – even though I know my husband and my old coworker want to find the solution too.

    Ah, I digress…

    With this villain, I want to hear how you DEFEAT him (or at the least, how you manage him). I know my co-worker and husband would love to have strategies to help him share concerns in a way that don’t make them so damn negative ninja-y all the time…

  • #678

    Tea Silvestre

    Yes please (to Lisa’s question about how to defeat this villain)! Great work, Gloria.

  • #691

    Tea Silvestre

    Thanks for the helpful comments and questions everyone!

    This villain is defeated by donning the Cloak of Strength that is fabricated through a greater emphasis on what you’re doing well, what successes you have, what gets you excited about your work and what’s been effective in accomplishing what you want to do. By keeping an eye on what’s working well, you are more likely to fend off the attacks of the naysaying ninja.

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