How to move forward when others are stuck (Part 1 of 3)

Your outlook determines far more of your organization’s success than you think

Most business these days, whether profit- or mission-focused, are seeing challenges they couldn’t even imagine a year ago. The financial earthquake that rocked the world seems to have stopped shaking, yet aftershocks still jolt us from time to time.  If you watch the news, you can hear about a lot of real problems facing people just like you.

And the way you respond to the current reality can make all the difference for you and your company.

People unconsciously respond to the way you show up

Your outlook affects the outlook and behavior of everyone in the organization – even if you are not at the top.  Hard to believe? Here are a couple of examples. 

Example 1: If you have children, or watch people who have them, you may have noticed the way the parent responds to a scrape or a fall strongly influences the way the child reacts. And in the other direction, a grumpy kid can wear down the perspective of even the most positive parent.

Example 2: You’ve probably been on a team where someone consistently pokes holes in everyone else’s ideas. Those holes, even if they are accurate, can deflate the attitude of the group.

Affect your attitude, affect the outcome

You are probably not fully aware of how you are showing up.  Those around you see the actions you take, and they assign intentions to your behavior that may or may not be even close to what you were trying to achieve.

If you are willing to be open to hearing the perceptions of others, you can compare their interpretations of your actions with your true intentions.  This feedback loop allows you to learn where you may be misunderstood, and you can begin to more clearly communicate your intentions.  In this way you are much more likely to be able to positively affect the outcome of your team and your organization.

Actions you can take today

  1. Track your interactions. For one day, after each meeting or discussion, simply mark your calendar with a plus (+), minus (-), or zero (0) to represent how you think you showed up.  Bonus points if you notice any patterns or triggers.
  2. Get feedback. Ask a person you trust to give you honest feedback about how they feel after a discussion with you. Do they feel inspired? Or criticized? Listened to? Spoken at? It’s important not to be defensive – just listen, ask questions to understand and not to correct, and then thank the person for giving you real feedback. Bonus points if you start adjusting your attitude to affect the outcome.

 Coming: How you view things determines the energy you have to work on them

Chris Hutchinson


Chris Hutchinson

As CEO of Trebuchet Group, Chris Hutchinson thrives working with clients and his team to improve organizational clarity, teamwork, and leadership impact.

After years of building Legos® and tree houses around the world, Chris earned his Mechanical Engineering degree and followed that with an MBA. His experiences in the military and the business world taught him great leadership can be learned, and everyone is in some way a leader.

Clients and peers describe him as an inspirational catalyst for positive change. He is the author of Ripple - A Field Manual for Leadership That Works.

Chris and his wife live, garden, and bike in Fort Collins, Colorado, and have four children. He has an unrequited love affair with brownies.