Quite a few years ago while watching some inane football analysis one of the commentators said something that really stuck with me and actually helped me understand some people I’ve met in my life.
It is really easy to be de-constructive and extremely difficult to be constructive.
They were of course referring to the style of play a football team at the time had taken and probably didn’t think of how that applies to our society in general. Working in an industry which has come through the greatest change in the last 20 years from any other, I’ve came across a mixture of so called negative and positive people. Meeting others who you perceive to be putting barriers in your way can be very frustrating and damaging to both the project success and your own career path. My view is that (most) people don’t set out to be negative they just find it much easier to do so. Complaining because something isn’t quite right is a lot simpler that actually thinking of a solution to the problem and presenting that instead.
Making a decision and presenting the solution may of course lead to discussion, criticism and exposure that many people feel uncomfortable with. What they don’t realise is that this is just part of working life and is a healthy ingredient to business. Presenting a wrong solution is 10 times better than complaining and presenting none.
In my day to day work we try to encourage the team to tackle problems and look at ways round them regularly, it’s a core function of the company. If a problem is encountered then think of the solution and present this rather than the issue itself. Presenting solutions shows progress and thought into the problem itself, it also provides future opportunity! Solving a problem leads to many more doors opening up and can inspire both individuals and decision making in the future. Sitting on it and complaining can cause it’s death.