5 Questions to Re-Energize a De-Energized Team
High energy organization are led by skilled management teams.
5 questions to re-energized a de-energized team:
#1. Where is the complexity*?
- Complexity is the result of taking the path of least resistance.
- Simplicity requires courage to press through discomfort.
- Address issues you’re avoiding if you desire simplicity. Things get more complex before they get simple.
- Simplicity comes through painful labor.
- Simplicity in one area ends up causing complexity downstream.
- Declare your intention to create simplicity.
- Persistently poke and prod with a smile.
#2. How are we showing respect to each other?
Energy is a matter of the heart.
- Tell people what you respect about them. Look them in the eye and say, “You’re really great at … .”
- Don’t pressure people to be something they aren’t. Persistent failure calls for redesigning jobs or reassigning people. (Work to develop people before redesigning or reassigning.)
- Show interest in people, not just performance.
The most important thing about us is the way we treat each other.
#3. How might you cause distraction or delay?
- How are you letting-go so others can take-hold? Autonomy energizes.
- How are you walking around looking for what’s right?
- How might you distract from priorities?
- How might nitpicking cause anxiety and slow progress?
- When was the last time you put pen to a thank you note?
- How are you solution-centric rather than problem-centric?
- How might you create dependency? The goal of helping is getting people to the place where they help others.
#4. What specifically are you doing to develop people so they can face challenges without you?
Don’t just solve problems. Develop people who solve problems.
#5. How are you connecting people with higher purpose?
Rigorous day to day challenges cause people to forget what matters.
What might managers do to re-energize a de-energized team?
* This list is mostly a recollection of ideas from Insanely Simple by Ken Segall.
“Simplicity in one area ends up causing complexity downstream.”
Wow, how often this is overlooked or forgotten! It is sort of a leadership “Conservation of Energy” principle; It is ignored at your peril.
“Don’t just solve problems. Develop people who solve problems.”
This is as close to a universal leadership mantra as I know of.
Happy Independence Day!
Great thoughts for a great day! How often the manager looks for the negative and is not walking around ( note – that means you get up and away from your desk) looking for what is right. Thanks for the reminders Dan. Sounds like I need to pick up Insanely Simple.
What a great post today — thanks!! “The most important thing about us is the way we treat each other.” — this is a powerful truth that we need at all levels of our organizations! Writing Thank You Notes, telling people what you see they are really great at, walking around looking for what is going well and who is involved in making it so — all these help to create a positive environment for everyone. We have been working with our leadership on just these things and can see positive results across our campus.Thanks again Dan for your daily energizing!
We’re all at work in Canada today and this post is a great reminder that those simple acts of respect are important to our success. You can’t assume that employees believe they are valued unless you tell them – any more than you can assume that your spouse believes that you love them without regular affirmation through word and deed. Where I see challenges is in transferring this philosophy across a growing organization. My firm has grown from 100 to 800 over 20 years, which seems like controlled growth, but we’re obviously different. While the current culture, compared to the culture that I joined, is an outcome of lots of change along the way, caring and respect are human traits that should transcend time and they can still exist within each individual’s subgroup(s) of work. The larger organization as a whole should then exhibit positive energy. While many aspects of our work are much improved compared with the 90’s, the offer of care and respect is inconsistent across our company. I can observe pockets where it doesn’t occur and the immediate leader’s role is nearly always where the improvement can occur. Managers who neglect to give respect have trouble keeping teams for the next project and lose people to other managers or, worse yet, lose them to other organizations.
Simplicity comes through painful labor, but remember that painful labour alone doesn’t generate simplicity. Hard work alone doesn’t substitute for directing your finite energy wastefully.
Interesting set… Especially about the path of least resistance. It reminds me of something I read in The Lord Of The Rings – short cuts make for long delays
Love #4. Don’t just solve problems. Develop people who solve problems
However that is sometimes understood as give the team more problems to solve, to practice on, and at times those problems are pitched over the wall without guidelines. This resonates to Rajiv’s comment above – that short cuts make for long delays.
What looks like long, but leads to short, is to tell the team what and how you are thinking about a specific problem, to share much more information than you think they need, to integrate their questions and their thinking as they ‘warm up’. Do this a few times, and you can give less – but not too less – information in the future; you have helped them develop a proactive perspective on how to approach the next set of problems.
Good stuff – i am looking forward to extending the practice of ” The most important thing about us is the way we treat each other ” to a team i am going to work with in 2 months