Results or Excuses
"There are no desperate situations, there are only people who get despaired in certain situations."
To a large extent, the preconceived notion with which managers approach reality also determines what they will achieve at the end of their day. There are results or stories and excuses.
Failure to achieve results should not be confused with a lack of commitment. Not achieving the results may be a signal of poor resource planning or extra ad hoc demands.
The ability of managers to distinguish between objective impediments and fake ones will determine both the culture and the commitment of the people in their teams to overcome obstacles and achieve results.
Managers will always get more of whatever they tolerate. They do not endure poor performance. They tolerate poor performance. They do not endure a lack of resources. They tolerate the lack of resources.
Getting into exhaustive stories and dramas can help Oscar nominees, but for people who want to focus on achieving certain goals, it can only lead to exhaustion and frustration.
Tolerating drama will lead to a drama-heavy working environment.
Tolerating productivity and high achievements will cause more success.
Difficult circumstances are not reasons for failure. They are simply the environment within which we must achieve results.
What is special about apologies is that there is a dose of truth in them. And the attention thrown at them has the effect of throwing gasoline on the fire. It will only ignite it. And it will lead to flames, fires, and missed opportunities.
At some point, many people's energy goes to making excuses why something cannot happen, instead of focusing on how it is possible to happen within the current limitations.
Here are specific examples of how managers can reformulate their questions to the team when they go wrong and start making excuses like:
- We do not have enough people;
-We do not have enough time;
- We do not have the understanding of the client;
- We are not clear on what exactly they want… etc.
Questions that turn excuses into a framework for results:
- Knowing that we do not have enough people, how can we achieve our goals, anyway?
- Knowing that we do not have enough time, how can we still achieve our goals?
- Knowing that we do not have an understanding of the client, how can we achieve our goals?
- Knowing that we do not have clarity on what exactly they need, what can we do to achieve our goals?
Managers may loot at the excuses as a list of potential risks. Focus on managing risks, not on drowning in a sea of excuses.
The key element here is that managers should not rush to solve the problems of their people on autopilot. Rather, they should use the Socrates method and support their people to come up with solutions that are right for them.
It is enough to create clarity, and a sense of urgency, and the results will come.
One barrier for people to enter 100% in finding solutions and acting is their unpleasant experience with a previous manager. One who has taken stories and apologies too much into account, rather than working to increase the capacity of his team to overcome those apologies.
Here, people develop a conditioned reflex and gravity to the excuses that lead them into the spiral of self-fulfilling negative prophecies.
Then, as people turn every excuse into a reason for their success, they will have a greater sense of control over what is happening to them. They will become active instead of passive participants - not only in their work but also in life.
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