Thank God It's Monday®! Blog

How to Spot a Pot-Stirrer

Have you ever watched a pot-stirrer at work?

Yeah, they exist everywhere and in almost every organization, and they really can bring down the spirit of everyone around them because pot stirrers make it unsafe to just have great days and lots of sanity and things that work. They say things that sound innocent but aren’t intended to be innocent at all like “do you know Julie just got that project, do you think that’s fair?” or “gosh, I don’t mean anything bad by this, but Jim Bob just got promoted and I sure think he doesn’t have what it takes to make that happen”.

Those kinds of statements create all kinds of craziness within an organization because they’re not direct requests of someone who can make a difference. Ask yourself if you ever stirred the pot and, if you have, forgive yourselves of everything from the past because you can’t change that. But what you can do, alternatively, is decide never to be a pot-stirrer again.

Your workplace needs you to bring the highest level of integrity to what you do. And so, it can’t just sound like it seems innocent, it must really be innocent – and you know the difference.

Does Your Attitude Choose You, or Do You Choose Your Attitude?

Are you having a good day? Are you creating a great day? See, there’s a question that’s important for all of us to understand— “Do our attitudes chase us down, or do we choose our attitudes?” Well, that’s interesting. You see, every great day is filled with lots of disappointments and a lot of things that go wrong. Every bad day is filled with all kinds of great things that are happening. We determine and call a day a certain way, based upon what we believe to be a list of circumstances. But the reality is that we get to choose our attitude about whatever it is that’s going on. So why don’t you choose better days? Why don’t you decide that every day is an awesome day that’s filled with opportunities for you to learn and grow and to make a difference in the world? Because by choosing a great attitude, probably less bad things will happen because you’re looking for the good things.

A Passion for Customer Success

Are you passionate about your customer success? I hope so, because successful customers will never leave you. Satisfied customers, on the other hand, will dump you like a rock when somebody comes along with better pricing. Our job is not to do transactions. Our job is to transform. To transform the outcomes of our clients. That’s why we exist in this thing called a job.

So today be thinking, “How can I help every customer succeed, how can I bring wisdom, how can I let them know that I am a stand for their future and that I will bring value in every conversation that I have?” When you approach it that way, they can’t help but know that you are behind them, and they’re never going to go anyplace else.

I’m Working on It

Do you ever tell your team members, or even your boss, “I’m working on something”? Here’s the problem with saying “I’m working on something”. Nobody knows whether that means you’re thinking about doing something, you’re five minutes into a 40-hour project, or it’s complete.

“Working on” is a part of your vocabulary that needs to go and it needs to be replaced with telling people exactly where you’re at.

“Listen, I’ve got the beginning of a plan laid out and structured, and it has been approved by my manager. I’m about to begin the first chapter of the four chapters, and I’ll be complete with that by the end of the week.” These are very powerful ways of saying the same thing, but actually mean something. So, think about having outcome-based communication. In other words, say your words so the people who are listening to you know exactly what you mean. It’s especially important when you’re talking about what you’re accomplishing.

Did You Make Your Boss a Micromanager?

Micromanagers are oftentimes made as opposed to just their way of being. The reason that we make a manager a micromanager is because we don’t inform them where we are on our projects. We don’t get the conditions of satisfaction that we need before we take on a project.

We don’t let them know where we’re at with each client that we’re talking to – what the result is, what kind of outcomes we’re having, the stalls that we’re having, and the challenges that we’re having.

Without information, managers, who are responsible to their managers, of course, need to have questions answered. So sometimes micromanagers are made.

Start today to inform your manager and to create great visibility of where you are with every project that you’re working on so they never have to ask another question. You’ll be happier, they’ll be happier, and all the right work will be done.