How to Energize a Team that’s Lost Heart

Everything’s hard when you lose heart.

Fearful people play-it-safe.

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Vince Lombardi

If your team lost enthusiasm, what are you going to change about yourself?

What did you do to suck the life out of energetic people?

4 reasons teams lose heart:

People lose heart when…

#1. You only show up because you need something.

People hate to see you coming when you constantly need something.

  1. Show up to give.
  2. Ask, “What do you need?”
  3. Show interest in people as people. Do you know where they’re going on vacation, for example?

People lose heart when…

#2. You whip the horses for the entire race.

The strategy of working harder and faster eventually stops working. “More for less,” eventually implodes.

  1. Celebrate half-done points of long-term projects. Half-done is discouraging when the finish line is still over the hill.
  2. Explore ways to work differently, not simply faster.

People lose heart when…

#3. You expect people to perform in an area of weakness.

It’s dumb to judge people through the lens of YOUR strengths. Suppose you’re good with uncertainty and ambiguity. Reject the idea that everyone on your team enjoys stumbling in the dark.

Get people doing what they enjoy.

  1. Ask, “What do you enjoy about your job and how might you do more of that?”
  2. Discuss the question, “How much of your job could you dislike and still enjoy your job? Where are you on that ratio?”

We tolerate bad in order to do what we love.

People tolerate paperwork so they can spend time doing what they love. (I’m observing. I’m not encouraging you to pour bad on happy people.)

People lose heart when…

#4. You minimize big challenges.

You devalue effort when you make light of hard work.

“Wow, that’s hard,” is better than, “That’s easy.”

How do leaders suck the life out of teams?

How might leaders give energy to teams?

Bonus material:

21 Ways Dumb Leaders Drain Everyone’s Energy (Leadership Freak)

10 Ways Leaders Can Re-energize their Teams (Extensis)