Finding the Bright Spots

November 12th, 2021 by Kelly Kienzle

We all feel the burnout.  We all sense our energy dropping.  The bars of our gas gauge are dwindling faster than a cell phone in the desert.  We are surrounded by negativity and struggle, such as political finger-pointing and systemic inequity.

While these struggles are very real, we also cannot find the energy to face them if we have an empty tank.  We need energy, specifically positive energy, to fuel us for our hard work at home with our families and friends, at work with our colleagues, and in our community with our neighbors.

Our Bright Spots

Where do we find this energy?  Bright spots.  Bright spots are the things that are going well.  A bright spot is the good grade your child just got at school.   A bright spot is the project that your team completed on time and with ingenuity.  Bright spots are where a good thing has happened in the middle of something bad.

Let’s consider our work environment.  The authors of the phrase, “finding the bright spots”, also ask us to consider: “What is the ratio of time I spend solving problems versus scaling successes?”

Switch to Bright Spot Evangelizing

They urge us to switch from archeological problem-solving to bright spot evangelizing.  Yes, we still need to problem-solve.  But at what ratio should we be problem-solving versus bright spot-highlighting?  How would your team respond if you spent twice as much time on spotlighting accomplishments as swooping in to solve problems?

What would the impact be on you if your boss called out your successes twice as often as pointing out your shortfalls? How would your attitude towards work start to shift?

We become inspired to work better and with more creativity when our colleagues champion us.  We are emboldened to be radical and novel when our boss acknowledges our successes.  These bright spots highlight the path to success.  Whether you are receiving or giving recognition for the Bright Spots, you get an energy boost.

Bright Spots Renew Us

And the bright spots also highlight the path to renewal.  We can only start to feel better about our work, when our better work is noticed.

What success did one of your colleagues recently achieve?  What accomplishment, big or small, did your team reach?  Dedicate 2 minutes to sending them a message, giving them a call, or offering a shout-out at the next team meeting.  This is what leaders do – – highlight the bright spots to bring out the best in others and themselves.

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