In the current climate in many organizations, there seems to be an ever-growing legion of naysayers and grumblers. Negative attitudes can bring whole legions of employees down (remember the saying that “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch”?).
Although a leader isn`t expected to be Pollyanna, they may find it important to keep morale up. There is a way of taking negative statements and turning them around into pure possibility; a place most of us love to visit.
This technique, often used by coaches, doesn`t always work to bring spirits up (the real “Negative Nancy`s” may stomp out of the room), but it can sometimes change an otherwise unconstructive conversation into something more positive and open a window in a negative conversation into hope and possibility. It can also break through negative judgments and assumptions. Here are some examples of the technique:
Downer comment: “We can`t possibly accomplish that.”
Your response: “If it was possible, how would you do it?”
Downer comment: “It would take too long to do that.”
Your response: “If it takes too long, how can you make it short?”
Downer comment: “He has so much going for him, but isn`t performing well.”
Your response: “If that individual isn`t performing well, how can you (or we) help him to perform better?”
Downer comment: “I can`t talk to him .”
Your response: “If you could talk to him, what would you say?”
Downer comment: “I don`t have time in my day for that.”
Your response: “If you had time in your day, how much could you spare?”
You get the picture. Try raising some spirits, hope, and possibility in your organization using this technique!