my experience, these can create the best opportunities and big growth ideas; they feel exhilarating, even fun. Of course, sometimes they make you curl up in a fetal position and sob quietly in a corner. How do you get more of the former and less of the latter? In this article, we will tackle the critical requisite discussion about attitude, responsibility and feedback. In our next article, we will get a little more tangible.
The 1st key is attitude, or perspective. Can we see challenges at work, with the same perspective as we see challenges in a game? Is
it just that there is more at stake when the challenge is work related? Perhaps if we could relax with less attachment to the outcomes, we could focus more on the solution and produce better outcomes. When walking high on a narrow ledge, don’t look down!
We are told to simply change our words, to see problems as challenges or opportunities. It is true that words are powerful, and positive people who spend 10% of their time, energy and words focused on the negative issues
that arise, and 90% of their time focused on the solutions, will be far more successful than someone who does the reverse. In fact, research shows that even if your language is twice as positive as it is negative, that is still far too
negative. Successful organizations speak positive words at least five times more than negative words. If you’re reacting negatively to this idea, thinking that we need to be realistic, you are right, you can’t burry your head in the sand either – speaking at a ratio of 12 times more positive than negative, is too positive, and real challenges are likely not being recognized. For me, it is easy to remember to spend only 10% of our energy identifying the negative, and
once the problem is clear, spend 90% of our energy on solutions.
The 2nd key is responsibility. To accept changes and challenges as a positive opportunity, we need some sense of control of the situation; we need to assume full responsibility no matter who or what we blame. Blame is a waste of time and energy that weakens us. We give ourselves very little power when we think something or someone made us angry, ruined our product, took away our business, destroyed our market, raised our costs, etc. I know what it is like to lose your lease, to have a supplier (or ten suppliers) go out of business, to lose a good employee, (and to keep a bad employee), to have new competitor open nearby, and to face budget cuts. These and many more things befall every business. What changes these events into exhilarating opportunities for growth or improvement is how you choose to respond to them. No one can make you angry they can only provide you with the inspiration to choose to become angry. Suppliers going out of business are a chance to find better suppliers, a better deal, change your offering or your services. If you are not constantly changing and evolving, you are likely being a victim of others who are changing and evolving. To not be the victim, constantly look for feedback on ways to change and evolve yourself.
The 3rd key is feedback. When things don’t go as expected, is it the market, your customers, or the Universe telling you something? Perhaps what you were expecting or aiming for was unrealistic, or perhaps you simply identified one
way to not get something to work – so try something else. There is no such thing as success or failure – it is all just feedback. Negative feedback is often more valuable than positive feedback, but it is all just feedback. Learn to use
feedback to adjust your thoughts and behaviors to stay in alignment with what you want. When you cannot see the opportunity, perhaps the feedback is for you to make a career change, bring on a partner, ask for help, get a fresh
perspective from an outside source, get more training or a mentor. Perhaps the feedback is simply telling you to step back, slow down, go for a walk, meditate, or take a vacation and come back refreshed. The point is, recognize that it is all just feedback and we love and value all feedback.
Today we have address issues around our perspective. Our positive attitude gets our solution-solving brains working, our assumption of responsibility gives us power and listening to feedback tells us which way to go. Our next article will discuss resources and increasing our capacity to solve complex problems.