Taking the Positive Approach

In these times of economic downturn, many organizations are restructuring and making rather dramatic changes in their internal processes and/or external services.  Often staff members are  given instructions about implementing the changes without a great deal of consultation.  This leaves them feeling  resentful and stressed.  Sometimes they grumble amongst themselves and the negativity grows and becomes entrenched.  The impact of this negativity is burnout,  increased sick leave and customer service deterioration.

How can employees deal with this situation more constructively?  First, it will be important to learn as much as possible about the change – why and how it came to be.  Then to gain real clarity about the expected end results.

Positive Questions to Guide Discussion

Once these basics are known and understood, then it will be be more constructive to focus thinking and discussion on  the positive aspects of the change rather than all the negatives that usually come out at this time:

  • What are the strengths of our organization?
  • How can we enhance those strengths, given this new set of circumstances?
  • Why have we been proud of this organization in the past?
  • What can we do to support one another during the implementation of this change?
  • How will this change impact the survival of the organization?
  • In what ways can we streamline our processes and services?
  • What does our vision for the organization look like now?
  • How can we stay focused only on what we have control over?

While it is important to acknowledge the pain of dramatic endings; it is not healthy to stay in a negative place for long.  Negativity is catching in organizations and leads us into a downward spiral until we dread going to work in the morning.  Not a great way to survive;  we can choose it to be otherwise.



We cannot direct the winds, but we can adjust our sails!

– Bertha Calloway

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