I saw a picture awhile ago of a bike rack and the caption read, “You aren’t stuck in traffic. You are traffic.” How awesome is that? And that’s something I think we all fall into. Things happen and we take no responsibility for them even though our actions help to cause them.
What do you mean, Kath? Well, let’s say you are frustrated that your employees don’t innovate enough. Rather than look at it for the seven hundredth time as how to “fix” the employees, take a look at yourself. Do you always come up with a bunch of ideas? Is it possible your employees feel like they don’t have to because you will? Or, if they do come up with ideas, do you always have a better one? (I worked for her – it wasn’t her fault, she really did have better ideas. But WOW was that tough on people trying to help!) Maybe it is time to let someone else have the floor even if the idea isn’t the absolute best so they can feel they contributed. Then the next time it isn’t a blow to the ego but a teaming up of ideas.
Or, maybe the problem is someone you work with (or live with) NEVER does a particular thing you want them to do. Have you bothered to find out why not? Maybe there’s a reason. It is possible they just hate doing it which then becomes a question of how badly you want it done by that person. But maybe the problem is how you are asking.
A friend of mine has a great exercise he does with groups. He gives you a piece of paper with a whole bunch of random letters on it like this:
Then he says, “cross out ten letters”. So you dutifully cross out 10 letters. Except if you look at it, the phrase, ” ten letters” is there.
And when you get it right, what’s left is something meaningful. In this case “givers gain” because this was for a BNI meeting and that is their slogan.
The point is, here is a super straight forward directive that actually isn’t.
So I encourage you to take a week and look at your problems with a fresh eye. Ask yourself, where am I in this problem?