From “I think I can…” to “I knew I could…”

Another in a series of comments I have written recently in response to some public discourse on leadership.

So…

I think I can…I think I can…I think I can…

I knew I could…I knew I could…

Insights on motivation are helpful on many levels.  My experience coaching and facilitating hundreds of business improvement teams certainly confirms the value of pairing more capable people with those needing some improvement.

But I don’t see this as being about people holding negative views (“I think I can’t…) somehow getting more motivation than those willing to try.  People need to feel supported, encouraged, and hopeful.  They need to believe in the value to them and others, of the stuff they have to do.  And they need to believe that they can get better/stronger through their efforts.

In the end, I agree with the renowned community improvement leader Angela Blanchard: “you can’t build on broken.” Help your people see what assets and strengths they do have, and help them use those assets to grow in their work and lives.

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