Several years ago, I was hired to manage a company. They brought me in from outside rather than promoting from within. Most of the staff welcomed me but there were a couple of people that seemed to go out of their way to put up road blocks and cause trouble. On my drive home one evening – after a particularly trying day – I was thinking about everything and feeling pretty down. It was at that point that I started with some positive self-reinforcement. As I drove, I came up with a list of things that I believed in. (No matter what those two at work tried to throw my way!) I put that list on paper and taped it to my wall so that anytime I needed it, all I had to do was raise my head and look straight in front of me. Even though I’ve changed jobs, I still have that piece of paper. Here is what it says: I BELIEVE *in the power of positive thinking * in the power of positive reinforcement * in training * in empowerment * in finding solutions-not fault * in trust * one negative person can affect the mood and outlook of an entire group.
When I say that I believe in finding solutions-not fault, I don’t mean that we shouldn’t hold people accountable for their actions. Of course people who commit crimes or are guilty of gross negligence have to face the music for what they’ve done. I’m talking about people who make honest mistakes. The chances are good that there is a simple reason behind those mistakes. It might be that they’ve never been shown the correct way to do or respond to something, they may have never received the training necessary to complete their task or they may have all the knowledge they need and they just made a bad decision. This isn’t just about the workplace either – this is a factor in every part of our lives.
As I watch the news I see that we as a people have become fast to find “who to blame.” We want to know who we can judge as being guilty. But you know what? Sometimes, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is. Sometimes we just need to find a solution to make it better or to ensure that it won’t happen again.
How does this tie in with Suspended Coffees? Because that’s the way I see Suspended Coffees – as a way to help without judging. Do some people fall on hard times because they made bad choices? Of course they do but I absolutely refuse to blame them for it. I prefer to look for a way to help them and I believe that Suspended Coffees is a great way to start.