By David Benzel
If you’re a leader or a parent, you probably have some general idea of what you want for your team or your family. It might be “a productive team,” or “a creative team.” Unfortunately, many people have not thought about these things in detail, but only in general terms. It’s more common that leaders—and parents—identify exactly what they DON’T want.
“I don’t want conflict on the team.”
“I don’t want uncommitted team members.”
“I hate it when people ignore the details.”
“I don’t want stress in my family.”
“I don’t want messy kids.”
“I hate it when my kids are lazy.”
The problem with being so specific about what you don’t want and being only vague about what you do want is that your eyes and your brain constantly work together to locate examples of the most specific things you think about. Consequently, you’ll frequently find yourself bombarded with all the things you dislike about your team or family. Those are the only things you actually “see” or notice. No wonder you’re dissatisfied!
On the other hand, what would happen if you clearly identified the specific things you want for your team chemistry or for your family life? Here’s a possible list for each.
Mutual support & trust of team members
People who strive for our goals
100% effort regardless of circumstances
Laughing with each other
Kids taking pride in the neatness of our home
Doing chores without being asked
Having built such a list for yourself, imagine what each of the items on your list would look like, what they would sound like, and how you and everyone else would feel about these things. The act of describing the details of what you want not only adds clarity to your vision, but it adds inspiration to your efforts to achieve it. There’s no inspiration in trying to NOT have something…but there’s terrific power in moving toward something you want. Your team, or your family, will sense it.
Most importantly, your brain and your eyes will begin working together to find whatever examples of these qualities that exist around you. As you find this evidence be sure to give it the recognition it deserves. The entire atmosphere at work or in the home can be transformed by a leader or a parent that chooses to focus more on what is good and desirable than on what is poor or missing.
It’s a matter of choosing your point of focus.
“The law of floatation was not discovered by the contemplation of the sinking of things.” — Thomas Troward
Ask David Benzel a question about this topic at [email protected].