Go beyond the horizon. See the whole rainbow.
Change The Way You See Others
According to the authors of the book, Change The Way You See Everything, asset-based thinkers learn how to see other people through positive filters. Experience and life teach us to focus on the negative, or to incorporate deficit-based thinking. That's why we can easily spot the bad traits in each other. And like those pictures with hidden messages, once we see the negative - we can't avoid seeing it. Like the picture below.
Can you read the message?
Make opposition matter, advise the authors. Instead of immediately taking a side, assuming the opposing side to be wrong, consider the possibility that both sides may have validity. What new truth can you create together using the opposition as a catalyst for improvement.
Asset-based thinkers foster resolution. Find resolution fast. Tell the truth fast when it involves a tough situation. That's much smarter (and wiser) than digging into a position and going on the defense. They cite this story.
A marketing executive once told me that whenever a client pushed back on an idea or argued with him, before responding to the verbal attack, he would make eye contact and say to himself, "I love this guy. He's sharp and bold. I love his conviction."
People know if we're with them or against them. Asset-based thinking requires us to work together.
It also requires solid reflection. The book offers an exercise to help us.
1. Select one person you interact with on a regular basis (at least twice a week). Pick somebody you admire and respect. Reflect on recent experiences you have had together.
2. Zero in on what this person did to stimulate rewarding, productive, enlightening, or humorous interactions.
3. Decide when and how you will communicate your asset-based observations to this person. Communicate through voicemail, telephone, or in person - not by email. It lacks emotional intelligence.
4. Repeat this entire process. Only this time, select a person who frustrates or annoys you. No kidding - if you do this step, it will change the way you see a whole host of other people who, at the moment, drive you slightly to moderately crazy.
TIP: If you do this reflection every Friday afternoon, it will help the next week get off to a great start.
Change The Way You See Situations
Asset-based thinking begins in your own mind. Look long. Look wide. Look behind you. Look ahead. Look left. Look right.
The wider the lens, the better the view."
When tough situations erupt you may lean toward quick reaction. Instead, just breathe. Deeply. Slowly.
We can pause a problem and see it in slow motion if we intentionally slow things down. For those of us who are really proactive, it can be best to ignore the situation in the moment so we give ourselves time to find ways to move past it or around it.
We'd do well to reverse the 80-20 rule. Instead of looking at our problems 80% of the time, and our opportunities 20% of the time...flip it. Focus on opportunities 80% of the time and the challenges only 20% of the time.
So often we concentrate too much on our failings, or limitations. Instead, what if we considered our flaws, shortcomings and limitations as complimentary to our talents, strengths and abilities?
Great vision accompanies asset-based thinking. Engage your imagination and you'll be able to see the future before it ever happens. Set your goals. Aim high.
This is the recommendation of the authors for widening our lens during everyday adversity.
Monitor your first thoughts when you encounter adverse situations such as a traffic jam, missed deadline, or personal disappointment. If your thoughts are argumentative, e.g. "I can't believe this! What did I do to deserve this? I'll show them!," give yourself a chance to widen your lens.
Widen your view by asking yourself, "What is troubling me about this situation?" (Be realistic and specific, e.g.,