When you heard last week's news that Australia had defied international trends and avoided recession in the March quarter, what was your reaction? Productive Thinking expert, Ken Wall, noted that an individual's reaction to big news such as this can greatly affect productivity levels. According to Wall, reactions to this question are likely to fall into four categories: 'that's great'; 'we were lucky'; 'they fiddled the books' or 'it won't last'.
Where do you fit? Wall provides some tips for maintaining or increasing productivity levels, dependant upon typical reactions to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's big news:
"If you're in this group, that really is great! You're probably already successful and you can see a route through the doom and gloom that surrounds you. You are an optimist, you believe that you have some control over what happens and you are determined not to be a 'victim' of the downturn. This attitude is absolutely vital in business at any time, but especially now," Wall said.
Be positive, believe that you can. You will always be right! An essential part of Productive Thinking is your attitude, belief in outcomes and optimism.
"Demonstrate to staff that you believe that you can get through the tough times and they will believe the same thing. Believe that you can involve them in making it happen. Remember they will have the best ideas! Capture them and develop them by giving them time and teaching them how to think productively. Deliberately develop the natural creativity of your staff," said Wall.
'We were lucky'
"This is the group of people who think the first group will have been lucky if they actually do well. My Aunty Ruby was like that," said Wall. "When I passed my school exams it was because I was lucky. When I got married I was 'lucky' to find such a nice girl. No matter how many times I tried to suggest that people by and large 'make their own luck', Aunty Ruby stuck to her guns. Everything was down to luck. Now I'd like to think that it was because I was amazingly intelligent and good-looking! But more likely it was because of hard work and noticing what was going on around you, looking for opportunities and grasping them when they occurred."
Keep your senses open to new things, seek them out and work hard to turn them into a reality. It might be through networking, visiting clients, talking to staff or just going for a walk. Look for opportunity and new experiences.
'They fiddled the books'
This group doesn't trust the figures, or more likely, they don't trust the people. Wall added: "This is most likely to occur with people who support or are part of the opposition party, whoever is in power. What would happen if we suggested that in a time of national need, the best brains from both sides of the house got together to think creatively about options for improvement?"
Develop your personal trust of others. Start any relationship with the assumption that the other person is 'one of the good guys'. "OK, so you won't be right all the time; I've been let down three times in the past thirty years in business, so it's not a bad ratio," said Wall.
'It won't last'
"The fascinating thing about this group is that they only say this about good news! If something bad happens their typical reaction is 'I told you so.' You see these people on the train, in the bus, in the queue at the supermarket. These are the people who complain about the length of the queue, the service, complain about everything in fact. They are very hard to cheer up," Wall explained.
Please look on the bright side! A positive approach will breed more positive approaches.