Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Cure for Can't-swer

Whether you can or whether you can't, you're absolutely right. 

A crippling illness is plaguing many people in every organization in the world. It is the number one cause of toxic cultures. It is the precursor of complacency, the first stage of failure.  This disease has been destroying the hopes and futures of millions for as long as organizations have existed.  This disabler is can't-swer.

What is Can't-swer?

It is the state of mind where our words, responses, and attitude tell ourselves that something is impossible. This state of mind preserves the status quo and kills innovation. 

What causes Can't-swer?

There are lots of things that can lead people to develop can't-swer, but the main reasons that this plague cripples people are the following:

  • Lack of knowledge 
  • Lack of passion
  • Lack of commitment
  • Lack of ability 

Any of these issues can cause doubt, fear, and uncertainty, but ultimately these underlying symptoms drive people to verbalize their believe that they are incapable of making growth. 

What's the Cure for Can't-swer?

There are three simple mindsets that are crucial to stop this affliction to one's ability. 

1. The Mindset of Believing

The first step to overcoming can't-swer is to believe that all things are possible. Just because you have not seen something does not mean it cannot happen. We live in a world where we must see things before we can believe they exist. Strong minds with a passion for new opportunities believe in possibilities long before they can see them. 

2. The Mindset of Seeing

Once you believe something can exist, and you are passionate about it, then you are ready to develop action steps to make it happen. This is probably the hardest step to beating can't-swer because creating action steps does take a lot of time, creativity, as well as trial and error. This is where a lot of people give into can't-swer, but this is also the place where survivors' will-power wins the game. 

3.  The Mindset of Action

Procrastination is one of the biggest indicators that you may have can't-swer. Getting started on your action plan and taking risks are great ways to ensure that this plague does not stop you. When encountering obstacles or problems along the way, it is critical to just keep moving.  Action will stop can't-swers from coming out of your mouth. 

How can We prevent Can't-swer?

The interesting thing about can't-swer is that it is a communicable disease. By allowing ourselves to be corrupted by coworkers, colleagues, and others who are afflicted by this disease, we stand a strong chance of contracting the disease ourselves. Surround yourself with positive people, and you will quickly find that can't-swers never come from their mouths. Problem-solve with people who are innovative and creative, and you will quickly see that they don't allow the word, can't, to be a part of the vocabulary.  A culture of true collaboration is like sunscreen to the skin. It blocks harmful UV rays from damaging the body. 

The More You Know

Can't-swer is preventable. The more you learn how to be positive, opportunistic and innovative, the greater the chance you will never have to deal with this issue.  Another key consideration is to be extremely conscious of your attitude and your responses in difficult situations. This is a really good place for can't-swer to take root in your work and your life. Finally, if you can avoid contracting this disease of deplorable desperation, you will make a huge impact on yourself, your coworkers, and your organization as a whole.