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Don't Talk In Problems, Only Solutions

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Anton Langeler | IT Director | O'Neill Europe

I do a lot to inspire my team. It is not only training; it is a continual way of working in your team. [It is] thinking, if there is a problem, don't talk in problems, only in solutions. If you said, “Before you come into my room”—and that was one of my lessons—“prepare yourself on 20 questions [that] I ask you.” One of my CEOs, if I came up with many ideas, said, “Anton, before you come in my room, come up with 20 questions [that] I can ask.” So I was always prepared. Based on that, I write on the same paper my answers. I can tell you, today I miss no questions. If you bring this also to others, and ask, if you're [the leader, “Have you thought] about all the solutions? Are there other ways of working?” [you’ll find that] the people are already thinking in different ways. That helps a lot, because if all ideas are coming from leaders, it's not good. You try to create an environment [where] people can grow, [with] people building the community. The vision should be clear from the leaders. We try to give everything to our people so that they can grow, so that we use their talents. Again, it is important you say it many times per day: “You are great,” “You are good,” etc. I work on the talent program, and the talent program is only working on the strong points of a person and not on the weak points. My lesson learned was, sometimes in IT, you must do some things. But in my team, we try to work only on things where people are good. If you spend more time on that area, it is 10 times easier to make a weak point stronger.

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