When you speak with your colleagues, how many times do you have something to praise and how many times do you have something to criticise? Think back honestly to the last meeting or gathering that you had with your employees.
Did you say more bad things than good? Probably, and this is likely true for most organisations, the bad things outnumbered the good. What if the focus was turned, and you focused on the good, instead? How would the atmosphere shift?
But we have to fix the stuff that goes wrong
You may protest, and say, but we have to talk about the bad things. Someone messed up, or we didn’t meet this goal, or whatever it is. And while it is true that the issue should be addressed, maybe it should be mentioned only to the person who needs to fix the problem. It’s so easy to cast blame and shame to others, and to nit-pick and find every little error.
Sticks and stones and words that hurt, indeed
Have you heard the expression, sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never break me? Children are often taught to use this as a mantra against bullying at school. But words do have a powerful impact. Your words can make or break someone’s day, and even if constructive criticism is warranted, your tone and delivery can greatly impact how your message is heard and received.
As a leader, your goal is to provide a work environment that is suitable for the charges of the Imagination Age. Employees expect a business community that is brain friendly and allows for the creation of new ideas and new technologies.
A leader that regularly points out only problems and negative issues is not going inspire anyone to open their mind. Instead, these workers will become less likely to come forth with new thoughts because they are afraid of drawing attention.
“Leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting and, most importantly, a way of communicating.”
Learning how to effectively communicate can be difficult for some leaders. The paradigms of the past didn’t allow much time for discussion and innovation. But it’s time to set aside the ways of old management and embrace the new mindful methods of the twenty-first century. The will help you enter the Imagination Age. You can become a more effective communicator, which will positively impact those around you.
Encouraging words can help the drive we need to be innovators, while negativity can stifle it. Build up your employees so that they have the motivation to work through doubt, fear, and failure. When you are optimistic and thoughtful with those around you, you will experience a change in your brain state.
Optimism has long been associated with positive health benefits. Instead of always pointing out the flaws, try to shift your thinking and see the good. Remember, flinging words carelessly can cause as much damage as chucking a rock at someone.