Turning problems into opportunities

DO you have a team of ‘can do, will do and do do’ people? (Not to be confused with ‘dodo’ people.) Is the team atmosphere one more of negativity than positivity? Is the glass half full or half empty for your team? Ok, enough of the questions, I think you’ve got the drift. Here is a checklist to explore how well a positive focus is managed within your team. As you review the list, answer these questions: What needs to happen? What could we do better? We explore other perspectives when people put a negative spin on situations. We talk about problems as opportunities to get something right or do it better. Our focus is to discuss problems and solutions, not just problems. Complaints are expressed in a balanced way showing both sides of the story. We show a ‘can do’ approach to customers as we make them aware of our compliance requirements. We act to address things that frustrate or bother us, or we keep our negative thoughts to ourselves. We acknowledge that irritants, deviations from the plan, the unexpected, counter-productive behaviours from others, etc all go with the territory and adopt a ‘let’s get on with it’ approach. We look for opportunities to celebrate/communicate the successes, right efforts and achievements of team members. Whingeing, complaining and negativity is not encouraged nor supported. We allow people to let off steam but adopt a ‘well, we don’t like it, we can’t change it, so let’s learn how to live with it’ approach. People’s perceptions of situations are broadened or informed by giving them different information, broader context, different perspectives or different interpretations. We maintain a focus on the business goals, the team goals and individual goals. Complaints or criticisms of policy and initiatives are kept ‘in house’. We discuss change or new initiatives and agree a team strategy for implementation and for dealing with any negativity. If unknown, we seek the rationale behind changes or new initiatives from management. We accept that change and new initiatives are a fact of organisational life, and while they may have flaws, if we weren’t at least trying new ways of doing things we would stagnate and regress. The reasons for changes or new initiatives are explained to customers in the context that we can’t meet everybody’s needs or wants but we try to provide for most people’s needs or wants. We demonstrate an attitude – what is, is, and it is only how we respond to it that creates stress or frustration.

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