Mobilize my team (and myself while I'm at it!)

bien-ĂȘtre motivation psychologie May 28, 2021

More and more leaders are experiencing what Pascale Brillon, psychologist, calls compassion fatigue, in her brand new-book, “Entretenir ma vitalité d'aidant”

 “Managers, much like caregivers, by wanting to support their colleagues and employees, end up getting tired of having to be the ones who are strong and constantly alert and reactive”.

Because stress often reaches all spheres of a company, the expectations are high on managers. Their employees are facing the unknown, their own stress transforms into a greater demand for support, reminders and encouragement.

Who is there to support the managers?

 And so, I hear about the psychological and emotional fatigue, and even the distress of some managers. Although most would say using the word "distress" is an exaggeration. Yet...

 The definition of distress is as follows: anguish caused by a feeling of helplessness, of abandonment, by a situation which can be perceived as hopeless. Critical situation, misfortune requiring prompt help. State which can be characterized by signs of stress, anxiety which will appear following one or more events. These signs can be:

fatigue, insomnia, impatience, muscle pain, migraines, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, irritability, isolation, outbursts of anger, sadness, etc. 

 What is happening in the life of managers at the moment is not to be taken lightly. Several businesses have become at risk. Weakened in this context.

Are you hesitating taking the time to care for the troops’ morale because you feel that, in doing so, you are neglecting operations and performance? It becomes difficult to combine caring and performing without feeling stress escalate. You feel that by helping to reduce the stress of others, you increase your own.

You may not dare to talk about this increasing stress around you, for fear of being the only one experiencing it. You keep that for your inner circle. It's a matter of not worrying too much, neither yourself or the others. You tell yourself that deep down, it's not that bad.

That it’s still possible to go on and that everything will go back to normal. But you believe those thoughts less and less...

And if you’re not at this point yet, you do what you must to keep your balance, and you’re committed to prevention through measures that aim to allow the continuity of growth, of the company, of employees, and your own. But you get the feeling that not everyone is doing that, and sometimes it gets frustrating that you have to pedal so hard for others. And that feeling that they are not doing what they should, can increase and make life feel even heavier.

For all these instances where we need to rally, to think differently, to apply what we know in theory but we often neglect to put into practice, what we need in those moments requires a different kind of effort. It takes the courage to change certain reflexes or habits that have worked in the past, and are not working now. The effort to switch gears, even just one. To ask questions, to avoid paralysis by over-analysis or over-action.

I would be VERY curious and above all interested to hear from you, to read about you, and to see what works for you in these times, when mobilizing your team requires even more energy than usual. While waiting to hear back from you, here are some thoughts to support this important responsibility that is Mobilizing your team.

Instead of pushing forward, STOP

When you feel you’re losing control or that you are powerless, your reflex might be to push even harder, to keep going without any breaks, to rush head first to "be done with it" . But during these moments, when you fight tooth and nail, you lose the big picture.  When you keep pushing on yourself and on people, without taking any time out, you may not really see where you’re going. In these moments, what you’re going to say is: “I know, I know, a little more and I’ll stop to take a step back. I don’t have time right now. "Or" if I stop, I'm afraid I’ll never get going again ... ". These beliefs keep you in the circle (perceived as virtuous), which can lead to the exhaustion of you or your troops.

When you think you don't have time to quit, STOP !!! And take the time to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where am I in the project?
  • Where are we in the project, in the task?
  • What was my vision for this project, this task? Where was I going? Where were we headed?

When you think you don't have time to quit, STOP !!! And take the time to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where am I in the project?
  • Where are we in the project, in the task?
  • What was my vision for this project, this task? Where was I going? Where were we headed?
  • What remains for me / for us to do?
  • What should we focus on?
  • What is essential to reach the next stage?
  • What is essential ACCORDING TO THOSE AROUND ME?

 When your perspective has become the only one that really matters, CONSULT

Your colleagues and employees are in the same situation as you, on their own level. They see the problems and maybe they see the solutions. Sometimes, some do not feel it is their place to name or to suggest what they have seen as potential resolution ideas. Either they said their idea in the past and weren't heard, or they didn't dare. Often golden information sleeps under the cover of silence. Sometimes because it was simply not collected. So why not allow these potential ideas to come out? Is it seen as a waste of time?

If you've done this in the past, have you actually made room for these suggestions without subconsciously turning them away? You might have thought to yourself that if people have good ideas, they would naturally share them with you. However, this is far from always being the case. Some are too shy, others are afraid of feeling ridiculous and not feeling that they have received a warm welcome for their suggestion even if it was incomplete, others just feel that if you are the boss you surely have already thought about it.

If you're a little short of ideas, or the plans you choose don't work out as expected, CONSULT

  • Set up one-on-one meetings in which you will ask people to share their vision of the situation, and to suggest ideas, however small they may be, and even if they are incomplete. Stay open, and take notes.
  • Organize short team meetings by asking people to be open-minded and name any ideas that come to mind. Remind them of the basics of brainstorming: no idea is bad. They can all help to create THE solution that no one would have thought of on their own.
  • Do a mini survey by email, or use an internal platform, Survey Monkey or whatever you like. Get help if you're not sure how to orchestrate it all. A short 5-question survey can work wonders. Advertise this survey and mention how essential everyone's opinion is.
  • Challenge your own ideas. Agree to bring them in front of the others by allowing everyone to ask questions and see if they don't find blind spots that you didn't anticipate. Don't underestimate the ability of those around you to improve your vision.
  • Ask for help. Go get support. Don't wait until you can't see clear and get overwhelmed. It’s a great proof of your humility, and above all of your maturity, and of managerial courage.
  • And finally, regardless of the ways you choose to consult, sincerely thank all those who will agree to contribute. And if it's in person, take the time to look them in the eye and say thank you.

 In these uncertain times, it's important to rally around, to create cohesion. It's important to tell yourself what you like about what the other is doing. Mobilization is the act of bringing together and boosting energies. And to feel mobilized, and turn that feeling into action, we need to start feeling connected again. To a cause, to a team, to a colleague, to the leader's vision.

To energize, we must move. Not just wait around for change.


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