Meeting the schedules of my children's activities is as complicated as my work schedule.
I need a couple of drinks at night to settle myself down to sleep.
The word that jumps out at me here is belief - without belief, there is no hope. I was excited that this belief statement was the least true but sadly still true for too many. Clearly the people like you who read our posts take the time to follow a newsletter or blog once in awhile, so it makes sense that you are not completely blind to your ownership of your situation. Whether it's a tough time for you as the leader or those you lead, here are small efforts to practice. When we want to change our emotions, we can behave as if we have and the brain and heart will follow.
- Buy a bag of special candy (Pop Rocks are fun). Make a list of your leaders. Randomly order them. As often as you can, select two or three to visit, give them a piece of candy and ask them how it's going. Listen. Help them solve it only if that's needed. Make your visits unpredictable and don't tie it to anything else. Keep them guessing. When you've gone through the list start again with a new piece of candy.
- Buy these Sticky Men. Stop everything, and have a wall race with your team at 3 PM on Wednesday. Return to work.
- Stop having meetings that are horrible. Have standing meetings, with agendas, parking lots and leave with a list of tasks to track (name, due date, task). Take back the craziness.
- If you have stakeholders that are hard on your staff and confronting them is not going to make it better, hunker down with the staff to help them with resiliency. Get some blank paper and pencils, then ask your staff to sketch a picture of their worst stakeholder in 30 seconds- without showing anyone else. Ask them to add things to the picture of the stakeholder- where are they, what time of day is it, what do they have with them, what is their expression, etc? Ask them then to flip the picture over to the blank backside and repeat the exercise but this time ask them to pretend they are this horrible stakeholder, and draw of picture (same additional info). Discuss. Help your team build awareness about how they are contributing to the relationship problems.
- Before the next time you're together, give your staff a homework assignment to Google what being "below the line" means. Share the thoughts and come up with your own chart like the one above. Consider using this prior to every discussion to get a sense of where each person is coming from. We're all below the line at different points of time, often appropriately. We also can't make someone go above the line, but we can help them see where they are and how those mindsets are impacting work.
- Have everyone in your office take and share our Stress Quotient assessment. Notice where the stress is coming from and where it is not.