The Autumn has finally arrived. I hear people bemoaning the loss of summer and this begs a discussion of the value of perspective. Positive Psychology encourages the use of positive, or gain perspective over negative, or loss perspective.
If we use the metaphor of an ocean wave, the choices become clear. A wave has both a crest and a trough. For our discussion, the crest represents the positive/gain while the trough represents the negative/loss. The traditional approach to evaluation and change management with individuals and teams was to head straight for the trough, i.e., what went wrong, or what did not work or was lacking so it did not happen again. I think that most people have been taught to examine themselves in this light.
It is a bit of a downer for self-esteem, and it ignores the useful information found on the crest of our wave metaphor. The information there about what worked, what was learned (failure has the learning that holds the keys to success), and the strengths of the players must be used to grow crest qualities.
Back to the autumn for some analogies:
- Summer is gone and with it the flowers, but the cavalcade of autumn colours is breath-taking.
- The days are shorter, but better to see the stars in the night sky.
- You cannot wear summer clothes, but you can bring out a whole new wardrobe.
- We will get snow, but look closely at a single snowflake under a magnifying glass, for no jewel can rival that beauty.
And on it goes.
Perspective is a powerful choice if you use it wisely and consciously. Happy autumn.