Water Color In The Fog

Left to its own devices the camera will report the stark reality of the world it is presented with. Almost all environments have imperfections that, if you look hard enough, will make them look less appealing. The same is true when viewing team members (this is probably true for everyone you interact with). It is very easy to view team members by the standards you have for yourself or an even harsher standard. This can cause you to waste a lot of energy on worrying about the actions of those around you.  In severe cases it is possible to become a drain on the team itself. A different filter may make the behavior around you seem to be at worst innocuous or perhaps even complementary.

I am not suggesting that if you have a an ax murderer in your midst, someone that spends the day playing on-line poker rather than supporting the team or hides the status of a project that you don rose colored glasses and pretend everything is beautiful. Rather, if your default position is a positive outlook you don’t jump to the worst conclusion first. A mechanism to achieve a good starting point for a team (any team) is chartering. As part of chartering the teams should spend time defining a set of values and norms and talk about problems they are having . . . Well maybe not the ax murder thing. Defining norms and having a conversation will help everyone on the team view their fellow team members with all of their pluses and minuses in a less harsh light. Save your energy for the big things, it will enhance your productivity by saving a lot of negative energy.  A little fog can soften even the harshest edges making the world just a bit more enjoyable.