Can Positivity Help Your Agility?

It’s 10:42 in the evening here in Dallas and I am a little frazzled, so to speak. One of the apps I help shepherd just shipped a release but has another one coming right behind it. Another product has — by far — it’s biggest releases shipping in a couple of weeks. I just got a promotion to take on some new internal duties that already has deliverables. To boot, I just got back home from a last minute trip to LA that my sleep schedule still hasn’t recovered from.

All these things on my mind makes me grumpy at home, and certainly makes enjoying the little time I have off difficult. For the record, thank you Karyn for your understanding. It will get better soon.

In this midst of all this turmoil, it can be tough to get your mind right. Often, when you are tired, frustrated, and questioning a lot of decisions, the right mindset can really be the salve needed. That’s why I’m glad I found this post from business consultant Christina Lattimer who posed an apt question:

What if everything were ok?

Sounds trite and cliche, right? That’s what I first thought. It rings of false positivity, and I would just rather be transparent with how I feel. The person who shared this article with me doesn’t usually subscribe to that fluff, so I leaned in.

Lattimer was having a problem relaxing during a swim, largely for the same reasons I have relaxing sometimes. What the question she asked herself provided was the opportunity to block out the outside world. If everything was lined up properly, she didn’t need to think about anything other than her freestyle technique.

After pondering the question further, I saw a ton of application for this question in the Agile world. How would you plan your next sprint if you weren’t behind? How would you run your next ceremony if the team hadn’t just finished yelling at each other? What would your backlog look like if you could wipe all that debt off the table?

The possibilities are endless.

There is a time to be real and transparent about the struggles we have before us. Teams respect that honesty and respond when you are willing to let them behind the curtain. Sometimes, though, the weight of our challenges can block us from finding the right solution. The key to solution-based thinking lies in the notion that things can be ok if you can focus.

See past the problem, seek the solution, and don’t be afraid of a little positivity. I know it fired me up for tomorrow.


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