Stay Solution Oriented

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-by Matt Leedham

Negativity is an albatross. Without a doubt, it is a burden and a curse. It hangs heavily around the necks of those who embrace it.

We’ve all seen it before. The heaviness of this burden on friends that constantly complain, or colleagues that gossip.

Negativity crushes the spirit, feeds on more negativity, and creates a helpless, victim-based thought pattern that has no benefit.

However, we all deal with frustration. We all have moments of weakness. We all vent our emotions (usually to our closest friends and family because they’re the only ones that will tolerate it from us). It is healthy to express these emotions.

So, if it’s healthy to express our frustrations with people, places, and things, how can we keep negativity out of it? After all, “expressing our frustrations” sounds a lot like complaining, doesn’t it?

There are two keys to this process:

  1. Stay Objective – stick to the facts and try not to become emotionally attached.
  2. Stay Solution-Oriented – vent all you want, but conclude with ideas or questions that are focused on making things better.

Here’s an example at work. Imagine one of your colleagues coming up to you and saying…

“She doesn’t care, apparently can’t read or comprehend email, makes stupid mistakes and then shares the blame with everyone around her when things go wrong. She drives me crazy!”

vs.

“She doesn’t listen to what I need, only responds to parts of my email, makes mistakes and then shares the blame with everyone around her when things go wrong. I wonder if there is a way that I can communicate with her better to avoid this in the future. What do you think?”

Moving out of victim-based thinking and into responsibility and solution-based thinking makes a huge difference! Imagine the performance level in these two work environments if everyone acted similarly. In a culture of negativity, how productive will the team be?

Now think about a culture of solutions and responsibility. That’s a pretty exciting difference!

The bottom line is, it all starts with YOU. Build a culture of positive solutions – both in your professional life as well as your personal life. Keep your friends and colleagues solution-oriented and you will notice a tremendous shift in energy.

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