Accelerate Your Performance

11: Leaders Don't Whine

February 18, 2019 Studer Education Season 1 Episode 11
Accelerate Your Performance
11: Leaders Don't Whine
Chapters
Accelerate Your Performance
11: Leaders Don't Whine
Feb 18, 2019 Season 1 Episode 11
Studer Education

How can you avoid the trap of negative thinking? Overcoming obstacles is never easy, but when we don’t let shortcomings get (and keep) us down, we become more resilient. This week, Dr. Pilcher exposes how to eliminate this behavior from the workplace. This episode addresses questions, such as: 

  • How do we change our frame of mind to break this habit? 
  • How can we look beyond obstacles to press on towards goals? 
  • How can we take specific actions to stop this line of thinking?

Recommended Reading: The Great Employee Handbook By: Quint Studer  

Recommended Learning:  Victim Thinking 


__________________________________________________________________ 

Show Notes Transcript

How can you avoid the trap of negative thinking? Overcoming obstacles is never easy, but when we don’t let shortcomings get (and keep) us down, we become more resilient. This week, Dr. Pilcher exposes how to eliminate this behavior from the workplace. This episode addresses questions, such as: 

  • How do we change our frame of mind to break this habit? 
  • How can we look beyond obstacles to press on towards goals? 
  • How can we take specific actions to stop this line of thinking?

Recommended Reading: The Great Employee Handbook By: Quint Studer  

Recommended Learning:  Victim Thinking 


__________________________________________________________________ 

Thank you for joining today’s Accelerate Your Performance Podcast. And thank you for having a desire to be your best at  work and helping your organization achieve success. The podcasts focus on tactical actions to improve workplace culture and these tactics align to our Nine Principles® for Organizational Excellence.  

Today, we’ll focus on “victim-thinking.”

 As leaders we know that we’ll have up and down moments in our organizations. We also know it’s how we handle the downs that determine how well we get back on track with positive momentum. 

Quote - Great leaders don’t whine.  

 ·     Made me think about this concept called victim thinking. And the quote was a reminder to me to stop feeling sorry for myself when I have those moments.  Or feel sorry for myself with myself for just a moment and then move on.

 

Sometimes we feel like the world is against us. And, sometimes we feel worn down.  Our tendency may be to turn to victim thinking.  Why?  Because there are some personally felt benefits from being a victim. Have you felt them?

1.  Here’s one. We want people to feel sorry for us.  And when they do it feels good. 

I remember when I was a child, I would have a small grade fever and act like I had a temperature of 105.  Having my mom’s attention on my well being felt so good.   I also knew I had 24 hours to get better, so I’d better enjoy it for the moment.

Even to this day as an adult, when I feel sick, she’s one of the first people I call. Because she makes me feel cared for. Her empathy toward me feels good.  

Now, if I acted in this way with her too often, she would get tired of me acting that way. I may cause her to worry. Or she may dread the call from me complaining about my headache or fatigue.

 

2.  Have we felt the benefits from victim thinking when we don’t want to do a challenging job or make a difficult decision? We focus on the barriers to keep us from having to do the work rather than on the work itself.  We may say, “If the circumstances were better we could get the job done, but the obstacles are too tough.  It’s beyond our control.”

 

3.  What about this? We feel like everyone else is wrong and we are right. We excuse away some of our shortcomings rather than face them head on.

 

Let’s look at an all too common example. At an executive team meeting, a project manager was presenting to the team. The manager was given a challenge to get a project completed by a particular date.  I heard the manager say this, “I’ve presented a plan to keep this project on time. The marketing department was at fault for this project not being completed on time. To get the project moving forward they have to create the graphic design and align our product to the brand.  I’ve provided them with our timeline and they are not doing their part. I don’t know how you expect me to get this project completed when the marketing department is not doing its job.”

 

This manager acted as a victim to shift the blame from her to the marketing department. She also shifted the work load to the next level up to handle – she put the problem on the executive team’s plate. Playing the victim had a negative consequence for the manager – the executive team started losing confidence in the manager. It was not as much about the obstacle itself. It was the victim messaging the executive team heard.  

Here’s the crazy thing about victim thinking. Individuals playing the victim are the only people who can stop the behavior.  

Why should we stop? We’ll feel better about ourselves in the long run. We’ll have better interactions with others and achieve results. We will be happier with ourselves and at work.

To get there, we have to break the bad habits of victim thinking. And to do that, we have to create the right mindset. 

So, what can we do to change our frame of mind to break this bad habit? Here are five suggestions. See if they work for you.

·     Acknowledge the benefits we feel from being a victim. 

·     Stop talking about how bad things are.

·     Believe that we are in control of our own happiness.

·     Take responsibility to shift our negative emotions to positive ones. 

·     Rely less on what other people do and more on what we can do. 

In an organization where I worked years ago, a new leader was hired who served as my boss.  I was very successful in this leadership position for about 5 years prior to my new boss.  It became clear to me that the new leader did not like my approach to leading our unit. I was innovative; he was more traditional.  

I had a few choices:

·     Change my way to align more with his. Become more traditional.

·     Become a victim. 

·     Or find a solution other than the two above that would be beneficial for the organization, my new boss and me. I decided on this last choice. I’ve not always made the better decision; at times, I played victim.  I knew at this moment playing this role would have hurt me and my team. 

So, how do we take specific actions in our workplace to stop victim thinking?  Let’s review several.  You may have some of your own as well.

·     Let’s think about one thing we’re grateful for and intentionally note and recognize it. When we get upset about something write down the good and see how it outweighs the bad.

 

·     Let’s express our gratitude to others.

                Example - Connection meeting every week - Wins

·     Let’s release our resentments.

        From time to time we feel like we’ve been wronged by others.  It is up to us to determine the best way to work through this. If we don’t take this action, we create inner turmoil that rubs off on those around us. By addressing our animosity head on we free ourselves from negative emotions. 

·     Let’s find a way we can help someone. Be kind.

Story – BK 

·     Let’s give ourselves a break when we make a mistake.

 

Sometimes we need to feel sorry for ourselves. Let’s allow ourselves to feel that way as long as we don’t stay there very long.

 

·     Let’s rest when we feel worn down.

 

When we take care of ourselves we are better to others.  Our teams deserve this from us. And, so do we. 

 

This week let’s do three things that will help us and in turn, help our organizations. 

·     Enter the week noting one thing you are grateful for and carve out 30 seconds each day to do something that shows your gratitude. 

 

·     Find something you can do this week to be helpful to someone else and offer help. 

 

·     And, if you need time to rest, do one thing this week that helps you find that time.

 

Here’s what I know. Most people want to be their best at work and they want leaders to help them.  When we break some of our bad habits, such as victim thinking, we become better leaders and people.  And, we are much happier at work.

 

Thank you for tuning in to Accelerate Your Performance. I look forward to connecting with you on our next Podcast where we will focus on “execute well.”   Have a great week.