Opening doors for positive people

The other day I bumped into a colleague whose responsibilities include something I often have to manage—encouraging people to change the way they work. She described her new team, including the familiar situation of having a number of people who were skeptical of any change, or who were otherwise reluctant to do so.

But she also said there were some who were interested in a new way of working, and some who were clearly enthused by what she wanted to achieve. “So I have to make sure I’m opening doors for those people,” she said.

I thought this was a good metaphor, and described well how to achieve success here. We can’t force people do what we want—if try, and even if we succeed for a short while, they will revert back as soon as possible to reclaim their free will. Even if we outline a grand vision of what we want to achieve the exact details of what success looks like depends on the experience and knowledge of those on the ground.

So a big part of success is identifying those people who want to make a positive difference and giving them the chance to be shape the solution. Opening doors for them allows the right opportunities to be discovered, and allows them to flourish further.

Photo by USFWSmidwest