So I believe in community. Collectives of people who care about their environment and each other’s well being. I am buoyed by the huge number of people that work tirelessly to build communities – council workers, artists, ambulance drivers and retailers.
What I don’t get is focusing on everything that is wrong with an area. A popular area is derided for not having enough parking, a police presence means we are sending a message of crime that will drive people away. At times it seems, these problems are built up into huge mountains that cause division and stop innovative thinking.
The problem with this sort of thinking is that it blinds you to the solutions. Thinking becomes stuck in ‘problem’ mode. Solutions are harder to see as you become fixed in your ideas about a problem. It is essential, when looking for solutions, that you examine and set aside fixed thinking.
Is what you are thinking about this situation really true? For example, do all customers prefer this or that? Are certain businesses ‘ruining’ the shopping strip? Have you absolutely tried everything and nothing works?
I am not a Pollyanna that needs to have shining happy people around. I know committee and group decision making is hard work. All opinions and needs must, at least, be heard and that’s a tough balance to get right. But it is important that an open mind be brought to the party. The benefits of this will be huge.
Of all the businesses, committees, groups I have worked with, the ones that can look at solution and challenge their thinking by asking them themselves – is this view helpful? – these are the ones that get to the solutions quicker and easier..with relationships still intact.
Any unhelpful views you need to question at the moment? It might just help you get unstuck.