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37 Questions to Ask Yourself When Your Team Lacks Energy post image

I was giving a keynote on Saturday to large group of administrative professionals. My speech followed the recognition lunch. In addition to their formal awards, they did one of my favorites, “Stand up if _____.” “Stand up if you’ve received your certification (nearly everyone in the room stood).” “Stand up, if you’ve achieved another important professional milestone (again, the room looked like a standing ovation).” “Stand up if you made a significant contribution as a volunteer this year (nearly all again.)” “Stand up if you’ve received any kind of recognition this year at your job (about 2% of the room stood).” I’m sure the intention wasn’t to prove that point, but it raised an important issue. These hard-working admins in vital roles, felt their contributions were not being recognized as they should.

Earlier that week I was working with a group of frontline leaders who supervise construction workers. I asked “What can you tell me about your team members? Are they married? Do they have kids? What do they like to do for fun?” One of the guys admitted. “Well, I only find out about that stuff when it becomes a problem. Like if they have to call take their kid to the doctors and miss work. Now that I think about it, it’s always in a negative context.”

If you’re full of energy, but your team looks like they need a good shot of an energy drink to get going, ask yourself these questions.

37 Questions to Ask Yourself if Your Team Lacks Energy

Do I SEE them for who they are?

  • What do I know about my team members as people (e.g. What do they do for fun? What is their significant other’s name?) This free tool can help. connections worksheet
  • Do I know about their additional talents and skills (those not necessarily used in their core job) that we could tap into for special projects or events?
  • Do I help them leverage and develop their strengths?

Do I TRUST them?

  • Do I rely on them to make decisions in their areas of expertise?
  • Am I able to be vulnerable with them?

Am I SUPPORTING them?

  • How do I advocate for them and their careers?
  • Who needs more support?
  • Have I ensured they have adequate tools and resources to be effective?

Am I CONNECTING with them?

  • Does my team truly understand what we’re trying to accomplish and why?
  • Do we have times that we talk about things other than work?
  • Do we enjoy being around one another?

Am I HEARING what they are telling me?

  • How could I make it easier for them to give me feedback?
  • When someone gives me bad news, how do I respond?
  • Do I ask for their opinions?

Am INCLUDING them?

  • Do I involve them in decisions?
  • Am I willing to share sensitive information?
  • Do I give them opportunities to present to my boss?

Are we SUCCEEDING?

  • Do we take time to understand our successes as well as our failures?
  • How do I help my team become more resilient to setbacks?
  • What could we start doing today that would have the biggest impact on our results?

Am I RECOGNIZING their contributions?

  • Do I provide a good mix of positive and constructive feedback?
  • Do I say “thank you” enough?
  • Do I know how each of my team members likes to be recognized?

Are we HAVING FUN?

  • Do we find time to enjoy our work and one another?
  • Do I create an environment that fosters creativity and fun?

Am I REAL with them?

  • Do I share my thoughts and feelings with candor?
  • Do I explain the reasons behind controversial decisions?

In other news.

energize your leadership16 Authors from around the world met through social media and discovered a shared passion–leadership. We all have varying backgrounds ranging from senior leaders within organizations to consultants, coaches, bloggers, and authors. Today we announce the launch of our collaborative book, Energize Your Leadership. See the video trailer here, or visit our site.

Your turn. Let’s develop an amazing list to change the game. What questions should leaders ask themselves if their team lacks energy?
Filed Under:   Energy & Engagement
 
 
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt helps leaders around the world achieve breakthrough results, without losing their soul. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR. She was recently named on Inc's list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers, AMA's 50 Leaders to Watch in 2015, & Top Thought Leader in Trust by Trust Across America. She’s the author of 2 books: Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and Overcoming an Imperfect Boss.
 

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What People Are Saying

Malaika Serrano   |   20 April 2015   |   Reply

Great post, Karin! Thanks for sharing these tips and the connections worksheet.

Karin Hurt   |   20 April 2015   |   Reply

Maliaika, Thank you!

Terri Klass   |   20 April 2015   |   Reply

Love your questions and your recognition milestones at your keynote!

People need to feel that they matter and are making a valuable contribution. What I often hear from young members of teams is that they are never asked for input or opinions. And if they are asked, their suggestions are never included. Of course there are half truths in that but the point is when we lead we need to make those around feel they are worthy and important. A great way to do that is to learn about what makes them tick and jump out of bed in the morning. Utilizing that energy can really enhance a team.

Thanks Karin!

Karin Hurt   |   22 April 2015   |   Reply

Terri, Excellent additions. Thanks so much. Everyone wants their voice to be heard.

LaRae Quy   |   21 April 2015   |   Reply

A great post, Karin!

Whenever people feel their voice is heard and that they are making contributions that create meaningful differences, they feel energized. Too many do not feel that direct “connect” between what they do and that meaningful contribution…

Karin Hurt   |   22 April 2015   |   Reply

LaRae, I’m so with you. You have an amazing way of ensuring everyone feels included.