Every once in a while, my Director of Operations will come into my office with an idea for the office that he KNOWS I’m not going to agree with, but he is SURE is a good idea.
Having worked with me for five years now, he’ll try to craft a logical argument and predict what my counterpoints are going to be. His assumption is that the answer is going to be no, so his entire presentation is built from that no.
When you start a conversation off from a negative place, expecting the answer to be no, you subconsciously point the conversation that way. Since all of his arguments are based on the idea that I’m going to tell him no, he often doesn’t leave me any room to compromise with him, or even surprise him by saying yes. He, without realizing it, paints us into the corner where the only answer can be no.
All because he came in with a mindset of scarcity.
I see it in other areas of my office as well: Recruiters that have struggled for a little while begin to doubt themselves. You start to hear things like, “I’ll try to call them, but I’m just going to get voicemail”, “the client is going to low-ball the candidate and it’s not going to work out”, or “everything I touch falls apart.”
And with that mindset, all of those things are going to become true. The times they get voicemail are going to stick out to them and feel like that’s all they’re doing. Their presentation of an offer to a candidate is going to lead the candidate to decline it because they’ve framed it as a low-ball in their mind, even if they don’t say the words.They begin to let the smallest pothole destroy any activity they have going.
On the other hand, if my Director of Operations comes in excited about an idea, and arguing FOR the idea, instead of against my predicted concerns, I’m more likely to hear why the idea is a good idea, and agree to it moving forward.
The recruiter that keeps a positive mindset is going make the most of the times when they do get someone on the phone, instead of wallowing in the voicemails. They’re going to be excited that the client liked the candidate enough to make an offer, and are going to present the offer to the candidate in a more realistic way. They may be putting lipstick on a pig, but they’re giving themselves, the client, and the candidate a chance at least. And instead of looking for things to fall apart, they’re going to be creative in how they can keep viable activity going if it’s a good fit.
This positive mindset comes from a place of abundance.
This is not just true in recruiting either. It’s true in all parts of life, and in the corrugated industry.
In all parts of life, you have a choice: you can look at things positively, from a place of abundance, and push things that direction, or you can wallow in self-pity, looking from a place of scarcity, and push things in a negative direction.
If the glass is half full, you’re thinking with an attitude of abundance! That half a glass is enough to get you through however long you need it to! Some people don’t have any water, or a cup to put it in!
If it’s half empty, you’re thinking with an attitude of scarcity. That half a glass won’t even get you through lunch! Look at those people with full glasses, that’s not fair!
The same goes for many of you in the corrugated industry. If you go to work every day thinking your boss is a jerk and won’t even consider your ideas, you’re going to limit yourself and your impact by not sharing those ideas.
Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” And he’s absolutely right. A viewpoint of scarcity will stop you from taking shots, which means you don’t even have a chance.
A viewpoint of abundance will allow you to take the shot. If your boss turns it down, that’s okay. What were his issues with it? Is there a way to compromise? If there’s no way forward with that idea, maybe he’ll like the next one.
From a management perspective, if you come from the viewpoint of scarcity, that all your people are incompetent and can’t be trusted to do their jobs right, you’re going to micromanage, make people nervous and limit their ability to do their jobs right.
If you come in from a viewpoint of abundance, you give your people a chance. They might fail (and learn something), but they also might succeed beyond your wildest expectations and create more opportunities for the future.
In essence, before you go into a decision, or a debate, ask yourself: am I coming from a place of scarcity or abundance? Do I have the right attitude to make the most of any situation that comes in front of me?
Life is too short for scarcity thinking. Come from a mindset of abundance to enjoy it, and as always…