The Problem With Velcro
The problem with Velcro is—it sticks.
Recently, I have been exploring why it is so easy to focus on the challenges or negative elements in our work and leadership and much harder to focus on the positive “good news” elements of what we do.
What I’ve discovered is that it is actually how our brain naturally works.
The analogy that clarified this for me was that negative thoughts are like Velcro and can stick – and stay stuck – while positive, “good news” thoughts, if not paused on for 20 seconds, slide right off – never sticking.
I admit I fall prey to being more like Velcro sometimes, and I focus on the challenges and areas where we are not yet achieving. Even so, I always have prescribed to the notion that “when you know better you do better.”
So, to that end . . .
Maybe you are like me, or maybe it’s someone on your team that you’ve noticed having Velcro moments. Regardless, I invite you to join with me in being intentional about those 20 second “good news” pauses for yourself and for your team.
Is there someone on your team who has not reached the achievement mark yet, but can be acknowledged for a step forward – even if it took taking a few steps in the wrong direction to gain forward motion?
What about a “good news” shout out to someone really living out your organization’s teamwork value? Someone who went over and beyond to help?
Getting unstuck from that Velcro can be challenging at times, and honestly, initially is going to take some real intentionality. Intentionality to stop. Stop and focus on those 20 second “good news” moments.
To be intentional, maybe consider putting systems in place to help you and your team recognize “good news” moments. Systems like these:
- Start meetings with individuals sharing some good news – professional or personal.
- Post a “good news” white board up in your common space and commit to adding something to the board each day. Also, encourage other team members to join with you in sharing the “good news”.
- Daily, create a sticky note titled “good news.” Keep it very visible to you throughout your day – this means it might come to meetings with you, or be posted on the edge of your computer monitor. Your goal is to write down at least three “good news” moments from your day. Consider keeping your sticky notes from the week and reviewing them all the next Monday to remind you of all of the potential a new week has to offer.
With a little intentionality, who knows? Maybe we will find that we are Velcro no more, and are naturally better at pausing on all of the “good news” that really does fill each day.
– Lisa Diaz, Founder