We’re told not to be emotionally attached to the outcome. I couldn’t disagree more. I want you and your team to care about results.
The easy emotion is feeling the rush of excitement when you nail it. Celebrating, high-fiving and doing the victory dance.
It’s the uncomfortable feelings we try to avoid – disappointment, regret, and frustration.
As a recovering Pollyanna, I used to dismiss uncomfortable emotions. I’d rally the troops with “it’s all good” and look for the “silver lining” and the “lessons learned.” I’d lean on “there’s a reason this happened.” While there’s still value in seeing the “bright side,” it wasn’t until I finally let the disappointment hit our shared ego and pride that powerful progress was made.
If it’s always “all good” then there’s nothing to change, nothing to do or shift. Which, if you think about it from a team member’s perspective, is concerning. If the boat is sinking and “it’s all good,” we’re all going to drown while our leader is in state of denial.
Harness “negative” – read not fun – emotions to galvanize your team and motivate them towards action. When you visit* disappointment, regret and frustration you start to ask why. You evaluate how did we get here, and not there. It lights a fire to change and improve.
In our case, we got mad and we got recommitted. We stepped up our game. We recommitted to excellence and all of those efforts we knew led to the outcomes we wanted. We also stopped being attached to those initiatives that weren’t garnering the results we wanted – no matter how “brilliant” they seemed.
We recommitted to creating outcomes that reflected what we were working towards as a team, and who we said we were in the world.
*I say visit, because you don’t want to stay there. Disappointment can become a black pit of despair and shame if left to wallow. You want to be proactive, not paralyzed. When you miss the goal, it’s closing the gap, working towards a solution, that brings your team together and creates a level of newfound pride when milestones are reached.
If you’re looking to commit (or recommit!) to an extraordinary workplace culture, check out Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace, available now.