A funny thing happened after the presentation I gave at the 7th Australian Stream Management Conference…  this image about ‘hanging out with yellow rather than blue people’ really seemed to resonate with people.   A yellow person generally sees opportunities rather than challenges, is optimistic about life, has positive hopes and dreams for the future, and is basically a nice person to be around.

Now I know there are a lot of yellow people working in river restoration, and I encourage you to hang out with these individuals, rather than the ‘blue people’ who tend to see the worst in situations, who complain, whinge and drain your emotional (and often physical) energy.

All of us feel blue some of the time and this is completely normal, but it becomes a problem when this becomes the norm rather than the exception.  Interestingly, an ’emotional contagion’ sets in, so if we hang out with people who are ‘blue’, then we will also start to take on those characteristics and ways of seeing the world. This can be reflected in the culture of an organisation with language, behaviours and ‘the norm’ becoming very negative, essentially a toxic environment to work within.

As I said in my presentation, by hanging out with the ‘yellows’ you are valuing yourself and boosting your ‘yellowness’.  You can also be ‘yellow’ for others in your organisation who need encouragement, and when dealing with ‘blues’, always fortify yourself with plenty of contact with ‘yellows’ so that you can maintain your optimism and continue to feel good about what you do.

The ARRC will now be presenting ‘Yellow Awards’.  These awards can strike at anytime and will be given to those people who exhibit ‘yellowness’……stay tuned to the next blog where the first winner will be announced (and if you want to nominate someone please get in touch).