Ask and learn instead of saying can’t

Ask and learn

“Can’t do” is the start of all excuses

It can not be underestimated how important it is to be a “yes i can” manager over “no i can’t”. A “yes I can” leader does not put limits on what they can succeed or on skill-sets they can improve in or learn.  Even more importantly, they do not allow “I can’t” mentalities among their team. A “I can” mentality is one that ensures your first response to challenges is seeing them as possible to be overcome. You may not yet know how to jump the hurdle in front but by having a “i can” trigger you accept it will be possible to do so in the future and commit to doing the action or learning needed to get there.

“Yes I can” is a critical instinctive response to enable you to start the action needed to overcome challenges.

“Yes I can” responses are just as important to small things as they are to big. As having a “no I can’t” response to learning new micro skill sets can be a self-limiting attitude, one that keeps you stuck on stage 2 of the learning pyramid. It is guaranteed that you and your team members will have a “no I can’t” attitude to some things so it is very important to start opening your mind to what these “no i can’t” areas are and then no longer tolerate that “no i can’t” instinctive response. Once you start seeing that “no i can’t” response as the beginning of an excuse, you can start pinpointing your mind to take the needed action to learn and overcome. “Yes I can” is not about having certain skills or achieving goals right now, it is rather about believing it is possible to achieve them in the future when you accept your responsibility to make progress.

“Yes I can” is the attitude that starts the journey towards change.

“I can’t” attitudes come in many forms but I group them into 3 types. There is “I can’t change” attitude where people use the “I can’t” excuse to justify weaknesses in their personality by convincing them-self that some flaw they have is irreversible. For example people who believe they can’t deal well with conflict will continually say “I can’t possibly tell them how i feel”. Then there is the “I can’t believe” attitude where someone instinctively believes certain things are impossible for them and /or the team to achieve. These people are the first to question targets, and usually have low aspirations, and usually they wish for things to be set in a way that won’t allow for failure as they find comfort in their pessimism.  Then finally, there is the most harmful of the lot, “I can’t learn” person who justifies their own lack of a skill set by defining themselves as not being good at a certain thing and believing that no matter what this won’t change. For example this is the employee who carte-blanche says they aren’t good at technology and continually convinces them-self  that they can not understand how to work the photocopier or use the company CRM system.

“I can’t” attitudes can be grouped into 3 categories: “I can’t change”, “I can’t believe” and “I can’t learn” but behind each is self-limiting attitude and a desire to find a simple excuse.

Being a “Yes I can” manager leaves no room for “can’t” either in your own mindset or that of your team. Work with your team to get them to see that “I can’t” goes contrary to professional and personal development. Get your team to see that “I can” starts every journey towards positive change and improvement. Of course being “Yes I can” person doesn’t mean you will be great in everything you do, but what it does mean is that you push yourself in the right direction towards being the best YOU can be. So from now when you find yourself or a team member displaying a “no i can’t” attitude work hard to get them to change it to “yes i can” as that is difference between embracing excuses or making some progress.

“Yes I can” is start of progress.


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