What do your people think about?

Thinking loudly

Thinking loudly

It is commonly said, “You will become what you think of most of the time.” This applies to any organization. The more people talk about “unsolvable” problems, the more unsolvable those problems become. 

The more managers talk about tough competition from Asia or elsewhere, the more the staff will act as if the situation is hopeless. The more people think that the next meeting is a waste of time, the more likely it is that the meeting will be ineffective.

The root cause is the programming of our brain: we move in the direction we are facing. And we generate the reality we think of most.

This is why the assessment of any company’s difficulties is fairly easy for me as a consultant: most of the time, I just need to listen carefully to how people talk during the day. You as a leader can do the same: listen carefully to yourself and to your people. And then change the behavioral patterns. Here are five ideas:

  • During a meeting, when people start discussing a problem, simply ask this question: "On a scale 1 to 10, how relevant is this problem to our success?” If the answer is 3 or less, agree with everyone to stop the discussion. If the score is higher, ask if you can solve the problem right away. If yes, do it. If not, assign a person as the owner, set a due date, and agree on the next step. Using this technique, you can cut most meeting time by 50%.
  • When you hear people complaining about customers, ask this: “Who owns the case, and when will it be solved?” End of story!
  • Constantly share authentic success storiesfrom your customers. Ideally, you should share simple but positive video messages of your happy customers.
  • Celebrate little successes without any permission. I am frequently amazed how many managers see a huge barrier to celebrating even little victories. One of my client’s employees said that they need an official policy for any small celebration. Is it any wonder that they face challenges to achieving peak performance?
  • Provide mandatory small learning units for everyone regarding the psychology of success so that people have a chance to learn about these behavioral basics.

Every one of these ideas will direct the “mind” of your organization toward positive outcomes—an essential ingredient for outstanding performance.

Just try ONE of these ideas today.

This blog entry is from our Friday Noon Memo, the weekly memo for high-performing leaders and organizations. Click here to subscribe.