The power of yes
'Yes, and' vs 'Yes, but' were two phrases vigorously debated at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) when managers and staff examined common challenges faced by employees in a work environment.
Focusing on positive solutions, business and motivational coach Lincoln Holnes of Hanh Consulting initiated thought-provoking questions in a workshop dubbed 'Solution Focus Talk for Organisations' created for MIND.
Posing direct and indirect questions structured to push individuals to think solutions during a challenging scenario, Holnes advised them not to focus on 'why', but 'how'.
He told The Gleaner, "I teach a system called Solution Focus, which any company can use to come up with solutions in a short time. Although there is a 'why positive', the word 'why' is more likely to lead to the negative when posed as a question, he said.
'How' on the other hand, allows people to come up with ideas, which lead to solutions quickly. For example, the question 'Why are we not doing better?' vs 'How can we do better?' Both questions are asking the same thing. However, the response will be different.
"'How' is more positive and solution-driven. It's much harder to have a negative debate with 'how', compared to 'why'," Holnes said.
During the workshop, Holnes said, "Managers really don't make mistakes, their companies do. However, they are always in the hot seat because countless companies don't spend enough money and time developing their managers' leadership abilities."
Continuing, he added, "Managers are always reacting rather than responding with clarity, directness and transparency. This is why managers must remember the big three - communicate, appreciate and delegate with inspiration.
With more than 25 years' experience in coaching, training and guiding business leaders, executives, organisations, entrepreneurs, schools and other learning institutions to become tomorrow's change-makers, Holnes explained what prevents most companies and people from achieving their full potential is "the fear of change and not being ready for change".
He added: "We all want to move to the next level, but facing change is where the challenge arises. There are different levels of fear which exist at tier levels, both in companies and individuals."
Enthused by the workshop, Charmaine Brooks of MIND told The Gleaner, "The training has allowed me to create a positive mindset in regards to how I approach my day. I can go into work with the attitude that each day is the best day of my life."
Another participant, Ayisha Green-Martin, told The Gleaner, "I found the workshop to be very informative and useful for professional and personal situations. The delivery was good, with interactive activities keeping us on our toes."
Holnes concluded: "Jamaica can be a global player in the international marketplace. We have the potential to be a world-recognised contributor to the global economy. We must believe we have the potential and the capability to reach exponential economic heights."