It’s easy to see people as problems. In fact it is absolutely natural and normal. If a person is a problem, the conventional response is to distance myself in some way. A problem is something to be pushed away or eliminated. When people are being seen as a problem, they immediately sense it. They react accordingly. The outcome is usually not good.
In the positive lens people are not problems. If I, as a leader, see someone who is not performing to their potential, the problem is my lack of effective leadership. I have not painted a compelling enough vision for him or her to step out of their gopher hole and look around. I have not provided enough support that they dare to take a risk and learn their way into a more effective way of being. I have not given feedback in such a way that they can learn and change.
The positive orientation is not “soft.” If there is a problem it is never in the other person.
The personal accountability is astronomical. Because it is, most people prefer the conventional approach. This means few possibilities open up and little potential is realized. In the positive lens all influence attempts begin with the question, “How can I be a better person?”