Punish The Imaginary Elephant
They have a "hidden elephant" in the room. Her common expression when she does not want to discuss an obvious problem. In her current economy, they have an "imaginary elephant". I call it imaginary rather than hidden. They can feel and talk about the imaginary elephant, but they do not talk about the hidden elephant. They need the sun to come out and shine on the elephant, but it's staying in. So they sit there in misery and think, the elephant will never hurt me. It only hurts others. That thought is their mind being afraid to change. Accept it. Come up with a way to punish the elephant. Take authority over the elephant. When my deepest thoughts are broken, I keep on dreaming. When I stop dreaming, I die. Punish the elephant.
As they go off topic in meetings. I imagine what the elephant looks like. I decide on who makes sense and who rambles. I walk away and paint a mental picture of the elephant. They all can't stay here forever. Live for today. When life is hard, I have to change. They use energy trying to get more money, time, information or training to deal with the elephant. By design I can't see the elephant until the sun comes out. Now days my hyperconnected and transparent behaviors caused by the cloud or social shines more light on my elephants. So I design a better way. A better way will lead to more options, engagement, or pride in my work. Punish the f#$@ elephant. Do not be afraid of how the elephant will change you.
Be more transparent, loving, caring and productive. People want to work that way. Outlove the keepers of the elephant. Do it. It will make meetings more productive and less boring. Less guess work. No negative lunch or hallway talks. No jealousy towards others who can see the elephant better than me. Punish it. Time will be limitless. Laughter will be natural and often. Try to laugh 300 times a day. Kids do it. Hey she used to laugh that often. For some reason she got colder as she got older. Now she is lucky to laugh 4-15 times a day. Why not laugh 300 times a day again?
Design a way to help people. Help people with my time. Not money. When I help people I forget about my problems. Sometimes it makes my problem seem smaller. Helping with money is too easy. Money takes the emotion and work out of it. Usually fake people... well they give money for fame and pictures on their popular Facebook page. Helping people makes me feel good and laugh. When I help people, I learn more and she learns more. The learning is the currency exchange.
Punish the elephant before you get blisters on your hands from trying to avoid it. How are you going to design a way to deal with your elephant? Punish it.