For managers, optimism may seem like a great trait to have: A boss with a can-do attitude motivates others and makes them feel good. But there’s a downside too. An excessively positive outlook on a tough project may give the impression that you think the work is easy and doesn’t require any struggle. And, when you aren’t concerned about or dismiss the problems your team faces, it leaves others to worry about those risks. You might also send the message that mistakes and failure are not an option because the work should be a breeze. Wise managers know that missteps are inevitable, and that failure is just the price of creativity. So next time you want to ask your team, “How hard can it be?” reconsider whether you’re being overly optimistic.
Adapted from “Your Optimism Might Be Stifling Your Team,” by Liz Wiseman.
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