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Seb Anthony

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Developing a ‘Can Do’ attitude


I am working on a diploma course for Coaching and Mentoring. I have an assignment that asks:' How can we develop a 'Can Do' attitude in the business environment'. This is aimed at changing individual staff attitudes as well as what the top team can do to promote the attitude.

I would appreciate any thoughts from your experience.
Happy Days!
bryan edwards

6 Responses

  1. From personal experience
    Hi Bryan

    My only personal experience of this was a head of department who was very business-minded and entrepreneurial, which was unusual as it was in one of the large public services which are noted more for bureaucracy than for commercialism. Anyway, she had a very can-do attitude, and it was contagious and exhilarating. But in the end it amounted to doing the impossible with next to nothing; I suffered from burnout, everyone became over-stretched, and the department collapsed. So from that one experience I would say that can-do needs to come from the top, that it can achieve miles more than can’t-do, but there has got to be adequate resources to support the increasing workload.

  2. two words
    a wise man once told me that the best way to generate a “can do” attitude was to ask “Why not?”


  3. Generating a Can Do Approach
    Hi Bryan
    You will more often than not find organisations that have a “Culture” of Can DO also have a belief that to make a mistake is an Opportunity to Immprove. Organisations that take RISK MANAGEMENT to heart often have a CANNOT DO approach.
    Staff in general always prefer to feel that they can be part of the solution rather than being measured as part of the problem.
    Senior management have a major part to play in this scenario because it only takes one negative comment about someone to turn a lot of people off trying.
    The question is too deep really to answer in short, it is all to do with motivation and reward, management style and employee relations.
    If you were attempting to mentor someone working in a high risk environment for example, it might be much more difficult to create a Can Do approach in the typical sense, although you might find that a person would be willing to “take on” risk for the protection of others. It depends how you value the risk against the reward.

  4. Positive Attitude
    Hi Bryan

    As with most things, the example ideally needs to come from the top and to become part of the company culture.

    Developing a positive attitude generally, I believe to be central to wellbeing and positive practice in the workplace. It’s also important, of course, for each person to be aware of their personal boundaries and workload and to recognise what is reasonable and how to negotiate realistic deadlines within the process.

    If you want some information on developing positive attitudes, which would apply to any individual, please let me know and I’ll be happy to send you some information. E-mail me on [email protected] if I can help.

    Best wishes


  5. Can Do Readiness
    Brian: I believe that the can-do attitude stems from a change resilient approach. I have considerable experience and information about this as my masters thesis dealt with this topic. If you want to ask specific questions email me directly. I am located in Canada but am willing to help out with some ‘get started’ information via email, such as suggesting books, or assessment vehicles, if you wish. If you could be more specific about your current goal and what the organization is experiencing it will help me target resources that make sense for you specifically.


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