One thing I’ve learnt in my working life so far is that it’s always best to focus on solutions and positive outcomes in any situation.
I’ve found that labouring an issue, passing the buck and pointing fingers are counter productive and do more damage than we realise. It’s a waste of everyone’s time, definitely a waste of money and there’s always going to be psychological ramifications that permeate beyond the workplace.
Sometimes, people are only at fault due to forced errors, not due to lack of competence or laziness. What I mean is that people are good by nature and its only other external elements that can make or break each individual – and many are actually controllable. Your tone or actions, or those of others in the office could be toxic or contributing negatively and this creates a culture of fear, mistakes and little accountability. Its not positive at all and people are then seen as being incompetent even though they’ve got what it takes but are being thrown completely off. Some will argue that the strong will overcome and persist regardless but are we really living in this reality? We’re not and no workplace contains the best possible environment but we can work towards this because we can all agree that there are some things that every workplace needs. Even Google comes under fire for its office layout, hiring style and attention to things from an almost purely technical/engineering perspective but we know that they encourage positive behaviour across the board and similarly, this should be adopted by others, no matter how big or small your company is.
Sometimes we drop the ball. We forget. We genuinely make mistakes. Focus on resolving that issue, supporting everyone involved in getting it sorted but then importantly, follow up in a mature and civil manner to work out what happened and put something in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again or that people are better supported when things go pear shaped. It’s of no use to anybody if you’re in a fit of rage and blaming people, raising your voice and making everyone feel inferior. The issue at hand doesn’t get resolved or its resolution is delayed, there’s extra stress and tension that no one needs (including yourself!) and what really needs to happen is that we all get it sorted and move on.
Honestly, people just want support and want to feel supported. Even the most forthright and iron fisted individuals want this, even if they never show it. What’s important is that we create and foster an environment of support and empathy. A business needs to keep running even though someone has to go pick up their kids from school or if a few people on the team are down with the flu – that’s life and you have to work around it – but it doesn’t mean you run your business without emotion and concern for the most important part of your business: its people.
I firmly believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt, in understanding situations from all sides and then working towards an end result that benefits everyone.
We need more positivity in our workplaces. And it starts with you.