Today I have been really frustrated by my lack of progress, so I am feeling irritated and short tempered, which are not the right emotions for the workshop I am about to facilitate!
I have failed to make progress, because a simple task has ballooned into a complex negotiation between multiple stakeholders. Originally all I had to do was decide between several options for the name of an IT platform and then ask the IT department to buy the appropriate domains. We are 1 week away from live so we are tight for time.
However, when I communicated my decision, our steering committee started suggesting new and additional names, which led to a series of back and forth emails. Eventually we agreed to put the options to the user group, and give them the opportunity to make the decision.
During all of this, I realised that I could continue to feel angry that something simple was now going to take days to resolve, or focus on the upsides. These are the positives I have used to ensure I remain motivated:
- Celebrate the collaborative approach that everyone is taking – if I wasn’t under pressure, I would easily recognise that asking for users to be involved in the decision is exactly the kind of thing I would normally suggest. I need to be pleased that the steering group have kept me true to my values, rather than resenting them for adding to my workload.
- Enjoy the feeling that the decision is not solely on my shoulders and that by involving others we will hear their arguments for why they chose their favourite option, which is likely to resonate better with their peers in other stakeholder networks. It is a classic example of not every idea has to be mine, so whilst the time pressure is great, the pressure to have all the answers is removed.
- Use my skills to fill the time whilst others debate the options, so that my productivity in getting this issue resolved has been affected, I can still have lots of other achievements this week which will reduce the pressure on me.
This situation is a typical challenge for positivity – can we see the good in something difficult so that we maintain our focus on benefits, advantages and improvements. It is this positivity that gives us our creativity, our ability to build relationships with others and the resilience to keep going.