4 Practices Guaranteed to Energize Tired Teams

We begin new jobs with enthusiasm. But repetition leads to boredom. Lousy bosses make work miserable. Constant pressure causes burnout.

Successful leaders energize teams.

4 ways to energize tired teams:

#1. Establish direction that matters to each team member.

  1. Can everyone describe what rowing-with looks like?
  2. Point out anyone who is rowing sideways. Do this in private. Explain what rowing-with looks like.
  3. Understand each team member’s reason for caring about the team’s direction. Why does this matter to you?

Rowing together energizes teams. But people can’t row together when they don’t know where they’re going.

#2. Assure that contributions have meaningful impact.

Insignificant activities make people feel frustrated, drained, and powerless.

  1. Describe how each team member’s strengths contribute to the greater good. (This assumes you can list the top three strengths of every person on the team.)
  2. Make sure that everyone on the team does what they LOVE at least 20% of the time. (Work you love is work you can’t wait to do.)
  3. Protect everyone from spending more than 20% of their time doing work they dislike.
  4. How are you honoring the contribution of each team member?

#3. Encourage everyone to dance on the outer fringes of their strengths. (Part of every day.)

  1. How are team members feeling challenged?
  2. What new activities is each team member engaging in today?
  3. When are you talking about the things people are learning?
  4. How are you making it safe for people to try new things?
    • Tell people what you’re learning from failure.
    • Congratulate responsible failure.

#4. Notice high energy.

One thing that transforms the leaders I coach is feedback about their energy. I mention drooping shoulders and downward stares. But more importantly, I tell them when their eyes light up.

High energy is the result of understanding and respecting what makes people feel alive.

How can leaders fuel energy in the individuals on their teams?

What makes you light up?