Have you ever worked with someone where the discussion was not about whether the glass was half-full or half-empty, it was completely empty for them? I know I have. Attitude plays a key role in the success of any organization, and our fears play a vital role in our attitude.
That person who comes up with a problem for your every solution is dealing with internal fears you may not be aware of.
Negative outlooks and an unwillingness to focus on the core functions of the company are all signs of a fear of inadequacy, a fear of losing control, and a fear of something bad happening.
If you want to build unity, eliminate negativity, and change the culture of your organization, you are going to need to tackle these fears.
In this episode, we discuss 4 techniques that are sure to improve your organization’s attitude.
1. You see what you look for
2. Share your vision
3. Do not chase crazy
4. Have fun
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You will see what you look for.
Yams and I are in the process of getting our house ready for the market. Among other things, I have been painting this entire week. And one the most interesting things I have noticed is how average of the job the original painters did on our house. When you move into a home, you are not really looking at the paint job. Sure you may notice a slight imperfection here and there, but you are not looking at the wall from every angle. Well, when you are painting your home, let me tell you, that is exactly what you are doing.
Because of my sharper focus on the paint job, I noticed all the imperfections that have always been there. We have lived in this house for years and I did not notice how many times the painters painted on the corner of the outlet cover. I never noticed that they did not paint certain cracks and crevasses that were out of plain sight.
You will find a similar situation among the people at your organization. If someone is constantly looking for issues, they will always be able to find something that could be better.
Deciding Factor Questions
The two-fold deciding factor questions will address whether the issue garners your focus.
- What is the likelihood of this issue happening?
- If it does occur, how significant is the impact.
When people are dealing with the fear of something bad happening, they always want to everything to be perfect. However, you have probably noticed that perfection is not attainable. As a result, you can end up wasting a lot of time working on problems that are unsolvable, unlikely to happen, or will not significantly impact the organization if they happen.
Focus on what matters
When attempting to refocus members of your organization, it is best if you acknowledge their concern and then ask them the two-fold deciding factor questions.
If you can get them to admit the issue is unlikely or insignificant, you may be able to ease their fears.
Share your vision.
I know it sounds counterproductive to give more information to someone who is finding a problem for your every solution. However, if their negative attitude is fueled by their fear of inadequacy or losing control, you may be able to reassure them. The fear of inadequacy is always one of the toughest fears to recognize. No one likes to believe that they cannot get the job done. As a result, they will look to blame the processes, the leadership, or their coworkers.
The fear of inadequacy is driven by the uncertainty surrounding a changing situation.
By you sharing your vision of how your project impacts them, you may be able to shift their focus. That is why it is so important to get ahead of the issue before it becomes a situation.
If not, you run the risk of management being forced to drag the doubtful kicking and screaming through the entire transition. If they reluctantly go along with your proposal, at the first sign of difficulty, they will want to abandon the project and attempt to change everything.
They will demand unreasonable assurances to ensure they are comfortable with the project (seeking perfection).
Sharing Is Caring
By sharing your vision (recommendations below), you will help ease the concern and hopefully change the attitude of your associate.
- what you are excited about,
- how things are going to roll out,
- their role and how the change will impact them
- testing and time for adjustments,
- as well as feedback once the project is live
Do not chase crazy.
Your time is so valuable, you cannot waste it on people who refuse to change. I often refer to parable, do not chase crazy. If it has been some time since you heard it, I will give you a quick reminder.
In this African proverb, there was a town crazy person who was know for being crazy. One day someone was taking a bath and the town crazy person took his clothes off the shelf and started running. Not knowing what to do, the sane person chased after the crazy person. This chase resulted in the sane person running through the town naked after the clothed crazy person.
So allow me to ask you, who is the crazy person? Is it the person wearing clothes or the person running naked through the town?
That is why you don’t chase crazy.
If you have shared your vision and unsuccessfully got the person to change their focus, then it is time for you to move on without them. You cannot continue to devote the precious minutes of your day attempting to change the mind of one person.
I mentioned in episode 15, What does fear look like in your organization’s sales and outreach that if people are not having fun, they are afraid.
They may be dealing with the fear of inadequacy, but they could be dealing with the fear of losing control.
We are creatures of habit, so change is difficult for most. Even if the previous situation is less than desirable, most people enjoy the security of “normal”.
If you can maintain the fun aspect of your organization, then you can remove fear from their minds. Anytime you look to change something in your organization, offer a reward for the first handful of people to implement the change.
If you are testing in the testing phase of your upgrade, offer fun, interactive training sessions to ease the tension (code for bring candy).
Your goal is to keep the engagement and excitement high, while making sure everyone knows you appreciate them, their experience, and their feedback.
Whether your organization is your company, your place of employment, or an organized cause you are passionate about, utilize these techniques. Make sure your organization conquers their fears and self-doubt so they can focus on the achieving their goals with the the right attitude.