Frustration to Fascination

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Channelling frustration

One of my clients had an epiphany moment last week. You know these. It is when you have a breakthrough in your thinking that either resolves a longstanding problem or presents a new opportunity that, until that point you had been blind to.

This epiphany was born out of that seemingly most negative of emotions: frustration. In this case it was a frustration familiar to everyone that runs a business with a team.  Team members not performing as you want them to, creating lots problems and background noise. Perhaps you feel his pain or maybe your frustrations are of a different kind? Jot down your top three on a pad.

You can afford to ignore a degree of this business white noise. In my whole career I haven’t found a team that is immune from bitching, whining, speculation and idle gossip. In fact I it is an essential part of the human being are able to collaborate in large numbers. Perhaps your desire to fix these low lying issues takes attention away from what is really important: customers experience and margins.

In my book, Sleeping Tiger Revolution, I recall a flight out to Spain that I shared with a Formula One pit crew. These people are held up as the pinnacle of teamwork and I was fortunate enough to be within range to listen in to the conversation. Imagine my shock when all I heard for two hours was complaints about expenses and how other teams got to stay in better hotels!!

Anyway back to my client. This epiphany came as so many do, in the middle of the night, while your sub conscious is organising and filing the information collected during the day. He realised that there was an opportunity to easily outsource what the team did and, in so doing, free up energy, time and factory space, for other things.

There is a lot to consider before he gets to a final decision. The consequences for margin need to be calculated and the potential impact on customer experience assessed. Nonetheless it is a breakthrough in thinking.


The wood for the trees

This idea was an example of what I often refer to as ‘raising yourself above’ the problem. If you are engaging with problems at the level they are occurring you are destined to keep getting repeats or similar issues.

Your business life can begin to feel like that fairground game ‘whack a mole’. A mole sticks its head up and you whack it with a hammer. Problem is the moles keep coming and get faster until you surrender to the sheer futility of the game.

Does your business ever feel like this? In which case then try stop engage with the problems at the level they are showing up (hitting the moles) and instead focus on removing the problem from your experience.

As a coach it is my goal in conversation to remove obstacles like these and I use a couple of simple hacks to do it.

Go where the problem isn’t – Instead of trying to analyse and understand the intricacies of the problem, simply imagine what it would look like if the problem wasn’t present and things were working exactly as you wanted. This not only moves your own state into a more excitatory bias, it also makes the actions you need to take more obvious.

Eliminate it from your experience – Give yourself permission to let some things go. Its the old adage that if you don’t want to feel miserable don’t watch the news. Some things are just not worth the precious hours of your life you give to them. If it really needs sorting out then rather than try to fix it yourself ask yourself ‘who should deal with this?’ and delegate it.

Slay the sacred cows – Don’t fence you thinking in with your own personal dogma about what does and doesn’t work and ‘how things are in your industry’. If you really want to make a dent in the universe than look to the novel and the new to solve the age old problems.

Commit to confront – Commit to implementing a solution no matter how radical it feels or how difficult the actions or conversations are. it face on even if it means difficult actions or conversations.

Whether or not he takes his epiphany ideas forward is not really the point here. The point is he was able to effortlessly detach himself from the problem and allowed business insight in. He listened to the signals in his system and fresh thinking surfaced. It is seeing this type of thing happening, without my ‘direct’ that makes me proud to be working in the way I have now chosen.

If you found this article useful and it hit a nail on the head for you perhaps you’d like a 15 minute conversation about it with me. I’m always happy to share ideas and help you move forward. You can book a conversation here