A Disaster with a Discouraged Team

The room felt like a funeral when the manager’s meeting began. In the end, the meeting was a disaster. I did something I shouldn’t have done.

You can’t find the light with your heart in the dark.

Turn or burn:

Concerns and complaints bubbled out of them. It felt like the team needed to talk.

Normally, I turn conversations toward the future. But I let the conversation circle the black hole. The room grew darker. I let it continue.

Perhaps we shouldn’t have met at all. One strategy might have been to meet one-on-one. Maybe the darkness wouldn’t have expanded so quickly and become so thick.

Turn people toward the future or the past consumes them.

Coaches and leaders turn people toward the future, but it took nearly two hours before I turned them. By then it was too late.

I wish:

I wish I’d jumped up and recorded all their concerns on a flip chart. After writing one concern, I would have asked, “And what else?”

I wouldn’t have explored any single problem too deeply. That’s where things go dark.

Dance on the edge of the darkness, don’t dive in.

5 questions to the light:

  1. Which of the issues on your list are completely out of your control? Cross them off the list with a bold red marker.
  2. What are the top three/five issues that aren’t crossed off? Focus on issues that are within your control, at least partially.
  3. Which of the top issues would you like to do something about? You find the light by focusing on things you can do, not things you can’t.
  4. What will you do to address that one issue this week?
  5. What would you like me to ask you next week?

What suggestions might you offer for dealing with a discouraged team?