Will the real problem please stand up?

blog 4

     Brene Brown’s new book “Dare to Lead” just hit the shelves and I am currently on a plane to go hear her speak for the first time. As I was reading and trying to take all of the information in this morning, I ran across an interesting quote and wanted to share.

     Brown discusses a recent Harvard Business Review about an organization who researched companies who were reporting high levels of exhaustion.  A team visited companies collecting data to examine where this exhaustion was coming from. What they found is that employees were in fact exhausted but it wasn’t because of the tempo of their work. Brown says “They were actually exhausted because people were lonely. Their workforces were lonely, and that loneliness was manifesting itself in a feeling of exhaustion.” 
 
     I found this fact so interesting as I work with many of my clients to help drive performance. The truth is that the complaining or grumbling that you are experiencing from your staff rarely has to do with the first emotion they express. There is always a secondary emotion that needs time and space to develop and it takes an emotionally healthy leader giving the time and space to be able to find out the true underlying problem. Your staff seems angry, but is it instead shame over the way they were addressed? They are feeling exhausted from the pace of work, but is it really loneliness?  They are pissed about one of your decisions, but is it really that they didn’t feel heard?  They are giving you the silent treatment, but is it really that they don’t feel like they belong?
 
     Management is tough and trying to lead employees to be high performing is challenging.  Creating time and space in your schedule and challenging yourself to be courageous will be important to address the real problem.  And only when you address the real problem will you be able to once and for all “put the problem to bed.”

     Let us know if you need help address the real problems on your team. For more information, visit www.theunstucklife.co!

Traci Newkirk
Chief Team Developer