The Art of Strengths Coaching

C is for Being A Creator rather than A Complainer

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People can choose their attitude in different situations. They can choose to be creators, for example, and find solutions to challenges. They can also choose to just complain.

Different cultures choose to reward creators or complainers. The behaviour that is rewarded has consequences for everybody in the culture.

Looking at your own life, can you recall a time when you chose to be a creator? You may have suffered a setback, felt frustrated with others just talking or seen a problem that needed solving.

You chose to get on with doing good work, however, rather than become apathetic. What did you do right then? What were the benefits – both for you and other people – of choosing to do good work?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to recall the principles you followed to be a creator.

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Successful cultures inspire people to produce solutions. They give messages that encourage positive scripting rather than negative scripting. Positive yet realistic, they communicate messages such as:

We can do it. Let’s take responsibility for tackling this challenge. How can we find – as far as possible – a win-win solution?

Unsuccessful cultures are characterised by people becoming institutionalised. They blame others and look for somebody else to solve the problem.

People who are exposed to positive scripts in the family, work place and society often internalise these attitudes. They are more likely to respond to situations with a ‘Can do…’ approach. Those who internalise negative scripts are more likely to give up.

Some individuals choose to shift their attitude in response to challenges. One person said:

A leader I respect confronted me about my behaviour. They said:

“Do you realise that by being so negative you are driving people away from you? Sometimes you come across as an observer critic. You criticise others rather than have a plan for going forwards.”

Since then I have tried to help people rather than depress them. The whole family says I am better to be around. My son says he now actually enjoys spending time with me.

Looking to the future, can you think of a situation when you may want to take the creative route? You may want to tackle a health challenge, face a transition in your work, deal with a difficult problem in the family or whatever.

How can you clarify the real results you want to achieve in the situation? How can you gather lots of information, explore the potential options and choose your way forward? How can you then be a good implementer and work hard to achieve success?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the future when you may want to be a creator rather than a complainer.

Describe the specific things you can do to be a creator in that situation.

Describe the specific things that may happen as a result of you choosing to be a creator.

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