Way too many companies spend a ton of effort trying to bury mistakes. When this happens a big problem appears. You probably already know what that problem is…but here’s a simple way of saying it. Bad news doesn’t get better with age.
In today’s video we’re going to talk about the world of the negative and why it’s important to not hide it, but shine a light on it instead.
Way too many companies spend a ton of effort trying to bury mistakes. You know, when this happens, a big problem appears, and you probably already know what that problem is. But here’s a simple way of saying it. Bad news doesn’t get better with age.
So in today’s video we’re gonna talk about the world of the negative and why it’s important not to hide it, but shine a light on it instead. So let’s jump right in.
- So number one: first of all, we all make mistakes. If you don’t shine a light on the mistakes you make, you’re gonna make them over and over and over again. You know, organizations where mistakes are hidden are organizations that are dysfunctional and really don’t serve their customers in the best way they possibly can.
- Here’s the second thing I want you to think about. I want you to realize that the negative is mostly about mindset and what you think about it. You know, some people see things from a negative point of view and sometimes people see things from a positive point of view. I have a friend named Peter, and Peter is the most positive person in the world. There is literally never a time that I’ve ever seen him think about something in a negative manner. He always flips it and he always says, “Gee, what’s good about that?”
So here’s something I want you to do. I want you to be thinking about those things that you think about in a negative manner and think about it in an opposite manner and see if in fact you can make that negative into a positive, and how you would go about doing that. So here’s the third thing.
- When you find something that is negative in your company, don’t talk about it as a negative. It might become a positive soon. So let me tell you a little story. There was a time in our business where we would lose an account occasionally, and losing an account is generally seen as a really bad thing because you lose the business. That’s pretty obvious, I would say. But in this particular case, we lost an account, we brought the machines back into our warehouse, we had to clean them up and set them all up just like they were going out to another location.
In fact, they were gonna go out to another location, but not for another six weeks. We had just hired a brand new route driver. And normally we used to train our route drivers out in the field with a trainer and it would take somewhere between six and eight weeks to train the driver. We tried an experiment. We said, “Gee, we’ve got these machines here. “Let’s see what happens if we train the driver in house.” So we trained the driver in our warehouse, and instead of the six to eight weeks it took to get him up to speed, it only took two weeks for us to train him.
That would have never had happened if we didn’t lose the account because we wouldn’t have machines hanging around, waiting to go and waiting to be used for something. But in this particular case, it happened to be for training. So I want you to think about the negative, how can you make that into a positive. And more importantly, how can you think about it as not a tragedy but something that you can fix and get better.
- And you also wanna realize that not every negative needs attention. Some just need to be managed. Now, in today’s world, we live in this 24/7, always-on world. And I don’t know about you but when I get messages on the weekend, sometimes I answer them, but more often, I don’t. So what I do here is that I don’t really pay attention to these messages that come through and I don’t answer all of them. Some of them I just wait ’til the next week on Monday morning and answer them at that point.
You don’t have to get crazy and you don’t have to get embowed in fixing everything that’s wrong. Sometimes you just need to manage it. And in fact, I would submit that most of the negative things that happen in your life, it’s really a management issue, it’s not something you’re never gonna get over again.
- So at the end of the day, shining a light on the negative allows you to think about negative things in a different manner.
So what do you think about things that happen to you that you see as being negative? Do you beat yourself up about them or do you say, “My, isn’t that interesting”? I really hope you say, “My, isn’t that interesting.” And the reason I hope you say that? Because it is interesting.
Negative things allow us to learn. Positive things are great to happen but the truth is, the positive doesn’t make us a whole lot better, it just makes us feel good. The negative is what makes us feel better because it gives us something to improve on, something to learn, and something to do better with.
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Hey, this is Josh Patrick. I’m the founder of the Sustainable Business. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.