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No. 546, May 29, 2006

A tip on working together

Do a positive analysis

How do we keep a positive and creative atmosphere in our team? An effective, simple and proven tool is the positive analysis. It is an excellent place to start every team meeting.

The positive analysis consists of two questions which everyone in the team discusses and shares with the group:

1) Five things we have done right since our last meeting.
2) Two things we want to do even better in the future.

I suggested this method for the first time more than 20 years ago. I had worked with a team which started every meeting by making an inventory of all the problems. The list was long and the meeting heavy, seldom making it to the end of the list. Listing problems is, of course, listing failures. Failures diminish both team spirit and self-esteem. Neither does it give a true picture of where the team is at. We constantly succeed at many tasks but take them for granted by not putting words to these successes. Team spirit and self-esteem will be lower than it could be.

It is vital for us to see a visible result from our labours and aspirations in life. We need to experience that our time, energy and work result in something of meaning and value. Centuries ago life was simpler and the results more obvious. We saw the harvest, our house rebuilt and the pantry filled with food. Today many of us work with tasks where it is less obvious what we actually accomplish. If we are to enjoy work and grow at work we need to see and feel that we achieve something.

The positive analysis always brings forth five successes which confirm what has been achieved since the last meeting. It also gives energy to do something about the two things which need some attention. But what if there are more than two problems? The question is how many problems we are actually going to tackle until the next meeting. Better two tasks accomplished than ten tasks discussed.

Start your next team meeting with a positive analysis. It does not take many minutes and gives energy to the meeting.

Creative regards! Jonas Himmelstrand

© 2006 Strategies to Learn & Grow Newsletter • Printable version

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