Is Your Thinking Helping, Hindering or Harming the Team?

Have you ever heard the expression or been told ‘Stop being so black and white’

It has nothing to do with the colour of skin and everything to do with a person’s level of thinking.

Someone who is black and white can usually only see things from one perspective.

In some job roles and areas of a business, this can be a rather useful way to think. It’s sometimes seen as favourable in finance, accounting and regulatory roles 😉

However, what happens when this lack of colour is actually inhibiting the development of a high-performing team (or in some cases any team)?

And it’s really slowing down a business?

A business is a reflection of us, as we are a reflection of the business.

Is your level of thinking helping, hindering or harming your ability as a leader and the business growth?

It is imperative, as a business leader to understand and have awareness around how your level of thinking is impacting the business. Or perhaps not, maybe it’s not making any difference and that can be THE problem in itself.

A business owner this morning, when asked “How are you? How’s business?”…

Firstly she questioned whether she could be honest… because there is often this facade around not actually telling it how it is, we need to put up a brave front because we’re worried about being judged.

Naturally, I said “Speak honestly” and she said “I’m treading water. I’m going ok, but not where I want to be”.

When we dove deeper into what was going on, here’s my honesty…

For everything she wanted to tackle or hadn’t done yet, there were reasons, projects half done, things started but not finished.

Do you reckon that is impacting her momentum?

Totally, hence the response “I’m treading water”.

We cannot create momentum, when we’re stuck treading water, legs swishing, basically keeping our head above water.

When there are only excuses or justification for everything that hasn’t happened, we won’t move forward, we’ll only stay still or eventually head backwards.

Now, are these excuses ok? Well absolutely, if you’re happy with where you are at.

However, if you’re not happy with where you’re at, if you aspire for learning and growth, for momentum and results…

Then it’s really time to figure out that your justification, excuses and blame is a cover-up.

They’re code for protection and a way out. No need to be accountable when we have 100 excuses, is there?!

These excuses are actually a reflection of your level of thinking. This thinking results in behaviours that then creates action or lack of action.

This is what causes the stagnation, procrastination, avoidance and ultimately the lack of momentum and growth.

So if you’re aware that you’re not being the leader you aspire to be, you’re not leading the team as you desire and you know the business is not where it could be at, then stop, pause, take a moment and ask yourself the question.

“What is my current level of thinking?”
“Is it helping, hindering or harming me, the team or the business?”

Given that it’s said, “We don’t know what we don’t know” then chances are you may not even then realise, where the gaps lie, where or when the ‘faulty’ thinking is causing you problems.

If you’re curious to find out…

Here are a few ways to identify where your thinking is at. Check by answering these questions:

– Do you feel stuck in the here and now?
– Do you find it hard to see further than a day or two, week or two ahead, maybe a month ahead?
– Does the thought of many months to years ahead seem impossible to foresee?
– Do you constantly feel like you’re reacting to the day to day, rather than on top of it and able to be proactive?
– Are you busy being the people pleaser and keeping everyone happy?
– Do you love a quick chat and hello in the morning?
– Do you hate the thought of needing to do the warm fuzzies when getting to work or at functions and want to get right down to business?
– When the going gets tough, do you reach out and ask for help?
– Under pressure do you shrink inward and prefer to wallow or sort it out yourself?
– Does the thought of being assertive mean you feel you need to be the bossy bitch?
– Have you found a happy medium between being assertive and firm, not aggressive and rude or quiet and reluctant?
– Do you struggle to see beyond your own opinion, when someone else is suggesting alternatives?
– Do you feel strongly that there is usually a right or wrong way to do things?
– Do you give in to others ideas more rapidly than you wish, even when deep down you know you’re onto something?
– Is your head swimming with a plethora of ideas and opportunities yet you struggle to bring things to life?
– Or is it tricky to articulate those ideas, speak up and share your thoughts, concepts and opinions with others?
– Do you feel like you’ve got to constantly get the whip out to get the team moving?
– Does it feel like everyone’s driving the bus, yet no one is taking charge and making the decisions?

There are so many scenarios that play out in the work environment, that are a direct reflection of your level of thinking. And it impacts how you behave and ultimately how you’ll experience the world (whether your working world or at home).

Here’s how to shift your thinking and behaviours to improve the results you’re getting?

  1. Stop using blame, justification or defence as a mechanism to respond or reply to questions, situations or scenarios.
  2. Be a constructive connector rather than disconnecting when you want to run, hide, bitch, moan, contribute, brainstorm and collaborate.
  3. Be assertive and firm without using aggression, rudeness, sarcasm or a put-down.
  4. Use clear and specific action steps as a way of explaining to help another overcome confusion or overwhelm.
  5. Brainstorm and consider all the different perspectives, possibilities, ways forward and opportunities rather than only looking at situations or conversations from one perspective.
  6. Focus on what’s important and the bigger picture outcomes rather than getting bogged down in the tiny detail when it’s not helpful.

Reach out and let me know which of the above questions really triggered something in you or are a challenge for you or one of your team.

Then which of these 1-6 areas of focus will help you create the momentum you desire, conversations that need to be had and a different level of thinking you know will benefit and support growth.

By adding a splash of colour, instead of being black and white about things, how are you seeing things differently now?

Genevieve “Colourful” Matthews



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