Monday, 12 September 2011

The Doomsayer

Let’s face it – we all know someone like the Doomsayer.  Favourite sayings “What’s the point” “It’ll never work” “There’s never enough time to do it all”.
The Doomsayer (a born pessimist at heart) will always see the roadblock in a plan and is happy to call it.
Now, that can be a useful skill to have in a team: someone who can critically analyse a plan and use that analysis to guide the choices and decisions being made, but, quite frankly, the Time Bandits are finding it’s wearing a bit thin!
The Doomsayer can’t even imagine a better future and has put the ki-bosh on so many plans and ideas suggested by the other bandits that they have stopped asking for his opinion.  They’re being held back and it hurts.
The gang recognises that they need to move onward, forward and upward – it begins with a state of mind and The Doomsayer’s mind is just in the wrong state!  OK, there’ll be some difficulties but they’ll always remain difficulties unless we have a go.
This attitude of doom and gloom means that tasks never get prioritised properly.  The Doomsayer “knows” there’s too much to accomplish so doesn’t devise a plan or a structure but simply starts at the top of the pile and works downwards.  This means that trivial tasks get done but often key tasks get missed – they’re just too far down the pile and The Doomsayer has run out of energy long before getting to them.
Instead of simply dismissing ideas and options The Doomsayer could practice coming up with practical alternatives in addition to raising concerns.  This way the gang will be able to see that The Doomsayer can make a valuable contribution and is more likely to listen to concerns in the future.
The Doomsayer doesn’t set out to be difficult.  They might just be very analytical or out of their depth and the negative outbursts may just be a cover for a lack of know-how on banditry.  A crash course or someone with the patience to explain things might pay dividends and The Doomsayer will once more become a valuable member of the gang.

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