How Do I Sustain Momentum When My Team is Tired?

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On this week’s Asking For a Friend LIVE, Karin Hurt talks with resiliency and leadership development experts about how to sustain momentum when your team is tired.

You can also watch the Live Online recap on LinkedIn so you can see the comments and additional resources.

Join us every Friday at 11:30 for more #AskingForAFriend advice.

Sustaining Momentum When Your Team is Tired

A Few Highlights:

How do you sustain momentum when your team is tired?

“We need to figure out what’s that Goldilocks balance between grace and humanity and getting the work done.” – Julie Winkle Giulioni

“There’s a difference between empathy and compassion. You can actually have too much empathy, which can lead you into burnout because then you assume responsibility for the other one. Compassion is the ability to step back, to be present to the other one.” – Eileen McDargh

“What a courageous leader does at this point in time, if they’re skilled and trained, they lead those conversations. “What’s going on in your head? How’s everyone feeling? And what do we do now?” – Pierre Quinn

“As a leader, you could say, “Hey, before we sign up for that particular challenge, what’s another way that we can solve this?” So it does drive additional levels of creativity, but secondarily, it also helps reinforce that that idea might be the best idea, right? Because you want to ensure that you’re really challenging that the idea that’s being put forth is the best idea. And so, it really satisfies two particular areas that might be great with teams to create and generate this desire to be creative and innovative.” – Ed Evarts

Practical Advice:

What’s one piece of practical advice to help leaders sustain momentum when their team is tired?

“Come up with some things that change pace. For example, here you’ve got your team together, say, “I want you to look around wherever you are, pick something out that is meaningful to you and we’re going to take two minutes per person. We want you to hold it up and say why is this meaningful to you.” – Eileen McDargh

“We can facilitate the connections and those connections generate energy. Whilst thus learning something new really helping people figure out what they want to grow in and use this opportunity for conscious intentional development, that infuses greater energy into the mix and it also helps the team perform better as well while creating additional connections.” – Julie Winkle Giulioni

“In these times of meeting scheduling, oftentimes we schedule our meetings every other Tuesday at 9:00 AM and we have them planned out for the next six months, but yet at no time do we have what I like to call a unique meeting, which is where we set aside the agenda, we set aside our projects, we set aside the work that we’re doing, and we talk about us and what we want to do and how we want to behave and what we want to talk about. I love the coffee talk and just chatting about what’s going on at home, how you’re surviving, what’s one thing you’re doing a little bit differently than you’ve done before. I’m sure you could list 50 things, but what’s one thing that you’ve done a lot?” – Ed Evarts

“When you look at students who fare well on standardized testing, ACT, SAT, a lot of it has to do with the exposure to certain vocabulary words at a young age. When we’re dealing with people in work situations and we’re trying to process what’s going on and how we’re feeling, I’ve been finding that a lot of us literally don’t have the emotional vocabulary words to describe what we’re going through. So something super practical, super simple, every leader can do it, look up emotional vocabulary wheel, emotional vocabulary cycle, emotional vocabulary words. When you’re having some of these conversations, instead of asking, “How are you doing?” ask the question, “How are you feeling?” and point to the wheel or the words and allow them to leverage the vocabulary to actually describe what’s going on.” – Pierre Quinn

Related Resources You Might Find Useful

Here are additional articles that help you sustain momentum when your team is tired. If you’re looking for more resources to help sustain momentum and energize your team, see our remote teams resource center. 

Four Ways Leaders Can Re-energize Themselves and Their Teams (Leadership Without Losing Your Soul Podcast)

How do I Keep My Team Energized and Motivated in the Schlog (Asking For a Friend-quick insights)

Virtual Kick-Off Meeting: Why You Should Have One, and How to Make It Great

Full Transcript: How Do You Sustain Momentum When Your Team is Tired?

Karin Hurt:

Hi, I’m Karin Hurt. I’m here with our next edition of Asking for a Friend Live. I am absolutely delighted with the panel that we have today. We’re talking about how do you lead when your team is tired? And so, I’d like to just jump right in because we have four special guests today, so I’m going to introduce them. First, I’d like to bring on Pierre Quinn. Pierre is a kindred spirit. Also, I can’t believe this, we discovered that we live within bicycling distance of one another, which is a lot of fun. He’s all about teaching leaders to activate their own courage, and you know, we’re all about courage here at Let’s Grow Leaders. He has a book called Leading While Green. So Pierre, welcome to the show.

Pierre Quinn:

Thanks, Karin. Glad to be here with you.

Karin Hurt:

And then we have Julie Winkle Giulioni, who is an absolute friend of mine. We’ve been collaborating for a very long time. She is all about growing leaders who grow others. So here at Let’s Grow Leaders, we’re all about growing leaders. I love the work that she does around leaders as teachers. Her book is Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go. So welcome, Julie.

Julie Winkle Giulioni:

Thank you. Looking forward to the conversation.

Karin Hurt:

Me too. Ed Evarts, again, talking about courage, he runs a podcast called Be Brave at Work, and I’m actually going to be on his podcast here, coming up shortly. He has a book 9 High-Impact Ways to Take Responsibility for Your Own Success. So welcome, Ed.

Ed Evarts:

Thank you, Karin. Great to be here.

Karin Hurt:

Great. Finally, Eileen McDargh, who is a good friend of mine. We know each other through the National Speakers Association. She is the resilience builder. Her book is called Burnout to Breakthrough. And so, I know David is chatting in the link to Amazon for all of these great books. I highly recommend them all. Oh, Beth Bueller is joining us and she is glad to be here as well. So, thanks so much. Let’s just jump right in. So, let’s start with you, Julie. When you think about how do you lead when your team is tired, if you had just had one really good piece of advice for folks, what would that be?

Julie Winkle Giulioni:

As I’m working with leaders these days, who obviously are dealing with teams who for the last year have been dealing with some extraordinary circumstances, the first thing that we’d have to do, I think, is really understand the roots of and what’s going on with people, really meeting them where they are. It’s been interesting in the media recently. There’s been sort of, I don’t know, an etymological exercise around this idea of exhaustion and tired and parsing it out into its parts, the physical fatigue, the mental drain, the emotional exhaustion, just that depletion at a core level. So I think from a leadership standpoint, the first thing we have to do is really understand what’s going on and what’s contributing to those levels of exhaustion, because certainly if folks are physically fatigued if they’ve been pulling down to in double shifts for the last three months, there’s something you can do about that as a leader probably. Or if they’re really mentally just burned out because they’ve been pushing the envelope innovating, whatever it might be, you might be able to rotate them towards something more rote.

If it’s more of that soul-sucking depletion, then we need to support them in different ways. But once we understand, then we’re in a great position to do what I’m coaching a lot of leaders to do, balance, grace and accountability. I think that’s really as a leader, that’s our mission these days, is bringing our humanity to each of our interactions, the compassion, the empathy, cutting people the appropriate slack given what’s been going on, but also holding them accountable because those high standards cause people to step up. They’re inspiring to stretch yourself when you’re growing, when you’re developing new skills. At least once a day, I find myself telling people “I feel so fortunate for my work. If I didn’t have this work, I’d be going crazy.” This is a lifeline for folks. And so, we need to figure out what’s that Goldilocks balance between grace and humanity and getting the work done. That can also be motivating.

Karin Hurt:

Oh, I think that’s so beautiful, balancing the grace, the humanity with the accountability. I know one of the questions that we’re getting a lot is how much empathy is too much empathy? That’s really where is the point that you also need to get the work done? I do think that’s so important to show up human and to really think about that. I love it. Thank you so very much. Eileen, I think this is the perfect segue over to you, wouldn’t you say with the work that you do around resiliency?

Eileen McDargh:

Well, [crosstalk 00:05:58] just look at Julie and say, “Ditto. Goodbye.” You know what, in this last book that I wrote, if you look at burnout, which by its classic definition is total exhaustion by trying to achieve some unrealistic expectation. And so, to move from burnout to breakthrough, this is where we begin to build resiliency, it all has to do with an energy exchange. I mean, that’s what is energy, but the capacity to do work. If you ain’t got no energy, it’s really hard to do this, but it also starts with communication. And so, when Julie said what is it that the leader finds out what someone is doing? But let me say something else. Well leaders lead well. You have to model what you want from them. So if you’re the one that is pushing the envelope, if you’re the one that’s insisting it, then you got to sit back and say, “Whoa, where is my accountability here?”

Also, there’s a difference between empathy and compassion. You can actually have too much empathy, which can lead you into burnout because then you assume responsibility for the other one. Compassion is the ability to step back, to be present to the other one. Lastly, let me say this one other thing, because I want to have everyone have plenty of time to talk, is you can also burnout doing work that is no longer meaningful to you, and that’s a real critical question. So for the leaders, are you asking people to do things that you might know as valuable, you might know why it counts at the end of the day for the customer, for the stakeholder? But guess what, the person who’s doing it thinks it’s stupid. That’s why, Karin, your work, creating courageous cultures is to be able to speak up and say, “Why am I doing this?”

Karin Hurt:

Oh, thank you so much. I’m just going to pause here and to say, if you are listening and you have a question about this topic from any of our guests, how do you lead when your team is tired, please type your comments and your questions into the chat box, because we are going to open the floor for questions here in a few minutes. So, thank you so much. Pierre, I will go over to you next and hear your thoughts.

Pierre Quinn:

Yeah. I go back to my time teaching college courses. I used to teach interpersonal communication, the fundamentals of public speaking, business communication. Without failure, there will be a point in every single semester where I knew my students would reach a low point. They have so many class responsibilities pulling on them, so many other challenges, things going on personally, things going on academically. I made it a point at certain points during the semester to say, “Okay. We’re going to walk away from the textbook. We’re going to walk away from the lesson plan. Today, we’re just going to have a conversation about what’s going on. I can tell, it’s on your faces, it’s in your body posture, there are things that are pulling on you that are not necessarily connected to what we’re doing in the course, so let’s have a conversation about it.” I call it a little bit of a release valve.

Now, coaching leaders and working with teams, the elephant in the room, the 500-pound gorilla, however you want to describe it is the fact that we’re all under the weight of a politically, economically, and as it relates to our health, it’s impacting all of us. What a courageous leader does at this point in time, if they’re skilled and trained, they lead those conversations. “What’s going on in your head? How’s everyone feeling? And what do we do now?” If you’re not skilled and trained, that’s the beauty of having a panel discussion like this and being exposed to resources. The team, the individuals here, this is the work that we do. We come in as that third-party unbiased person and can lead some of these conversations to help trigger that release valve, to get that elephant, that 500-pound gorilla, maybe not out of the room, but better managed so that we can move forward. So a big part of it is we’re all stressed, we’re all overworked, we’re all challenged, and we need to have the conversation about it in a professional, facilitated way so that we can leverage that for greater work in the future.

Karin Hurt:

Oh, Pierre, that is so beautiful. Having been a MBA professor myself, I know that cycle that you’re talking about. My imagination is once you had that collective conversation, you then built the open door for people to come and I bet you heard some really powerful things from folks one-on-one too.

Pierre Quinn:

Absolutely.

Karin Hurt:

Yeah, absolutely. Okay. Ed, over to you.

Ed Evarts:

Great. Thanks, Karin. Well, in addition to my book, Drive Your Career, I also do leadership coaching and team coaching. I’m often brought in when the team is at this low point, where their energy level or their workload or their stress level has dragged and slowed the team. I love the fact that Julie had talked about humanity and empathy because my experience has been that we’re not showing enough of those, that there’s not too much humanity and too much empathy, but it’s really business reasons that are slowing us down and not people reasons. And so, showing more humanity and showing more empathy are super critical to helping teams reenergize. Especially these days during the pandemic where we’re meeting virtually, a lot of people don’t even know how to show more humanity or show more empathy virtually.

It’s a little easier sometimes when you’re in-person and you can connect with somebody or go visit them or go have a cup of coffee, those types of things that we are also used to doing. Yet today, because we are meeting virtually, we are almost feeling even more distanced from our team members. I have clients who have joined companies and have never been to their office and have physically met anyone else on their team. So their whole experience with these other people have been virtual. And so, the likelihood of team energy slowing things down and not helping make people make progress is greater during these really virtual times. So, I think it’s important that we pause and it’s great that we’re hosting this conversation to think about things you can do as a leader to help reenergize a tired team.

Karin Hurt:

Oh, so well said. Beautiful. Thank you all so much for your insights. You know me, David and I are all about super practical, right? So let’s get really, really practical. You’ve got someone, who I’m sure we have folks listening who are saying, “Here’s the thing. We didn’t think it was going to last this long. My team rallied to the occasion. We did the very best we could with what we have for where we are. We did our fast pivot. We changed out our strategy. We’re all working hard. Now, we’re looking and we thought there’d be a vaccine by now. It looks like it’s going to be a lot longer. What do I do tomorrow to reenergize my team?” If you could say, “I’m just looking at my team and I’m so proud of them and I can tell they’re burned out,” what do we do tomorrow? Eileen, you can give me a… We’ll start with you.

Eileen McDargh:

I do. I really do, and it’s to change pace. When I say change pace, when we’re in and they come together in Zoom where there’s a couple of things that are happening, number one, the way in which we communicate most is by the sound of our voice and the looks in our face. When we’re on a Zoom, we don’t see this. So number one, have everyone have their camera on. I really want to see you. And then when I say change pace, how do we begin to develop that empathy, that humanity, that Julie talked about if we don’t know who really sits there? So come up with some things that change pace. For example, here you’ve got your team together, say, “I want you to look around wherever you are, pick something out that is meaningful to you and we’re going to take two minutes per person. We want you to hold it up and say why is this meaningful to you.”

It’s amazing what you can tell about each other. What we want to do is we want to broaden the definition of the person who’s got the title. This is what their resume says. I want to know you as an individual. You can do that with a lot of fun. I’ve done this with group where I said, “I want to know what’s your favorite song.” You know what’s amazing? When you ask people what their favorite song is, it gives you a whole nother perspective of who’s there, but it’s that changing pace to get back into the full human being instead of just the work person.

Karin Hurt:

Great. Thank you so much. Julie?

Julie Winkle Giulioni:

Yeah. Eileen, what you’re saying just so resonates. In that act of changing the pace, you’re really making connection, and I think that’s the other thing that as leaders we can do. We can facilitate the connections and those connections generate energy. Whilst thus learning something new really helping people figure out what they want to grow in and use this opportunity for conscious intentional development, that infuses greater energy into the mix and it also helps the team perform better as well while creating additional connections.

Karin Hurt:

Julie, I really agree with you. It’s so interesting. I always feel like that. It’s very energizing to feel like you’ve jumped out of an airplane. You’re trying something new and it can feel like when you’re exhausted like, “Oh, do I really want to now take on some additional development thing?” Yeah, probably you do, because that feeling will be energizing and it is a great time to make sure that you feel like you’re not stuck. When you’re developing and you’re investing in your own development, you’re making forward progress, even if other areas of your life are feeling frustrating. Great, thank you so much.

Julie Winkle Giulioni:

That’s a really good point, Karin. Just to piggyback on that, folks are concerned about the future too. That’s part of what’s exhausting us, is anticipating what’s next and development growth can future-proof people, give them something to look forward to there.

Karin Hurt:

Very, very nice. Ed over to you.

Ed Evarts:

Well, I just want to pick up on what Eileen and Julie are saying, because in these times of meeting scheduling, oftentimes we schedule our meetings every other Tuesday at 9:00 AM and we have them planned out for the next six months, but yet at no time do we have what I like to call a unique meeting, which is where we set aside the agenda, we set aside our projects, we set aside the work that we’re doing, and we talk about us and what we want to do and how we want to behave and what we want to talk about. I love the coffee talk and just chatting about what’s going on at home, how you’re surviving, what’s one thing you’re doing a little bit differently than you’ve done before. I’m sure you could list 50 things, but what’s one thing that you’ve done a lot?

These type of meetings where you’re not sticking to a structured format and having a more personalized coffee klatch type meeting is a great way to reenergize people to keep moving forward. If all you ever do is always just talk about the project, I guarantee you, your energy level is going to drop and drop and drop. And so, I love this idea of restarting and refocusing on people and the humanity that Julie talked about earlier and not just a project or initiative that you’re working on.

Karin Hurt:

Very nice. Thank you. Pierre, do you have anything to add on this? You’re very practical. I know you’re all about practical too.

Pierre Quinn:

When you look at students who fare well on standardized testing, ACT, SAT, a lot of it has to do with the exposure to certain vocabulary words at a young age. When we’re dealing with people in work situations and we’re trying to process what’s going on and how we’re feeling, I’ve been finding that a lot of us literally don’t have the emotional vocabulary words to describe what we’re going through. So something super practical, super simple, every leader can do it, look up emotional vocabulary wheel, emotional vocabulary cycle, emotional vocabulary words. When you’re having some of these conversations, instead of asking, “How are you doing?” ask the question, “How are you feeling?” and point to the wheel or the words and allow them to leverage the vocabulary to actually describe what’s going on.

It’s amazing how people will feel empowered once they have an opportunity to attach some words to what’s going on. And then, subsequently, you could follow up with asking, “Okay. You’ve expressed this emotion. This is how you feel. What’s contributing to that emotion? What has happened recently? What changes? What opportunities have led to processing this particular emotion?” But when you put the emotion, the emotional vocabulary in people’s hands, you’ll see that emotional quotient score go up because now they have the words that they could use.

Karin Hurt:

Oh, perfect. I love that. You have answered, I believe, Cassie’s question, what is one great question you can ask people to find out how they’re doing to get them beyond fine? Beautiful. Beautiful. One of the things that I think we need that is all very energizing is creativity, giving people an opportunity to come together, share their ideas to think about things differently. Maybe not creativity for the big, “Oh, let’s change our whole strategy,” but just little creativity that feels energizing because it’s actually actionable that people can do. Do you have any ideas on how to encourage more creativity and innovation at this time?

Eileen McDargh:

Okay. I’ll go.

Karin Hurt:

Okay.

Eileen McDargh:

I am a great believer in the use of metaphor, because I think if a picture’s worth a thousand words, a metaphor is worth a thousand pictures. And so, I’ve done this before with groups. Well, I’ll throw out something that says, “Tell me why this team is like pizza.” People look at you like you’re crazy. It’s amazing what you will find that people begin to say, “Well, we’re really different and we’re better… I think John over there is pepperoni, because he’s really spicy.” I’m making this up right now, but actually that were one of the metaphors that I use.

Metaphor is a great way for people to get larger pictures because you’ve taken it out of the traditional work environment and you invited them to think of it in a totally different way, which is actually where some of the great innovations have come from, whether you’re talking about Velcro and the Swiss engineer that pulls the burr off of his dog to… Or this one I read the other day where they were trying to get tile to stick for tile, carpet tile. What they found as a metaphor was to think about a gecko, because a gecko has little stuff on the bottom of his feet. It can go up a wall. What if we put that on the bottom of the carpet tile? Anyway, so metaphor is one of the ways.

Karin Hurt:

Oh, that’s great. We love using metaphors. One of the very simple team building things that we do is say, “Okay. Draw a picture of the team as you see it today, and then draw a picture of the team as you would like it to be.” Inevitably, people are laughing at their own drawings and all of that, but then you collect the themes. And then from there you can say, “All right. What is the gap and how are we going to get from here to there?” I was working with a CEO the other day. She said, “Remember a couple of years ago when everybody’s had a picture of the house on fire, well, it doesn’t feel like that anymore, right?” So that’s good because pictures stick with you. They do stick with you, metaphors.

Ed Evarts:

Karin, another activity that people can do and picking up on Pierre’s concept of words and phrases and questions to ask is any time that you’re solving a particular problem is to always ask, “What’s another way we can solve this?” This creates really two opportunities. One, it challenges the team to explore it a little bit deeper because oftentimes people think if they come in with an answer, that that’s the answer we’re going to use. It may not be the best answer, or it might not be the most creative answer, but we’ve got a lot of the work to do, so we’re just going to accept it and move forward.

As a leader, you could say, “Hey, before we sign up for that particular challenge, what’s another way that we can solve this?” So it does drive additional levels of creativity, but secondarily, it also helps reinforce that that idea might be the best idea, right? Because you want to ensure that you’re really challenging that the idea that’s being put forth is the best idea. And so, it really satisfies two particular areas that might be great with teams to create and generate this desire to be creative and innovative.

Karin Hurt:

Nice.

Pierre Quinn:

Yeah, I would add to that, Ed, especially when we’re looking at the multiplicity of different tactics and different activities that we could use. I’m a big sports guy. One of the things that you see in team sports is the tendency to feed the person who has the hot hand or who’s giving off the most energy. If we’re used to directing or guiding our meetings a certain way, we’re used to maybe the chief person or lead doing all the facilitation, how can you consider, especially if there’s certain activities that different members on the team resonate with? Let somebody else take the lead. Let someone else share the energy, get out front, and even with their own unique personality and style, drive a portion of what we’re doing so that the team can draft and feed off their energy. As you rotate that, you’ll give people a chance to catch their breath, but you’ll also give people a chance to step up a little bit and really can pull the team through some of those low momentum moments.

Karin Hurt:

Oh, I love that. Julie, I know you’re ready to add something too.

Julie Winkle Giulioni:

Yeah. Yeah. I love that, Pierre. I mean, it’s just a great way of mixing it up, kind of I lean back to what you were talking about, changing the pace. But one other thing that I find is how we look at ideas gets stale, and so, breaking that up. So Ed, piggybacking on what you’re saying, one thing that I find really fun with groups is to approach a brainstorming session from the completely opposite direction with backward brainstorming or reverse brainstorming. So rather than looking at how can we fix this, how can we break this even more? How can we make this just a total hot mess and really turn it into a dumpster fire? And then you reverse those ideas and frequently you come to something more creative than you would have gotten to just going at it in a straight line, but it’s also, again, energizing. Karin, you had mentioned just the idea of creativity. It is Teresa Amabile at Harvard found that it does cap internal motivation. During these times of exhaustion, that’s the reservoir that we need as leaders to be finding and capping.

Karin Hurt:

Beautiful. Eileen?

Eileen McDargh:

Well, another skill set that you could use in this creativity and to bring people out is to actually use some of the principles of improvisation. So improvisation, the first of all of improvisation is that you accept what is given. The response when somebody says, “XYZ,” you go, “Yes, and.” You build on it. If I can get people to laugh, laughter is the shortest distance between two people, that’s one of the most human things that we do. The skills of improvisation can be used in a fun “creativity” session that at the end of it, you say, “You know what, what did we really get out of this?” It allows every voice to be heard and they’re not judged because the idea is you don’t judge what is said. You say, “Yes, and.”

Karin Hurt:

I love it so much. David, I’m glad that you’re liking that. “How can we break this?” Because I’m ready to just to go ask that about our strategy too. No, I’m just kidding. Oh, we’ve been neck deep in strategy session. We don’t need a break anything else. Okay. So, I’d like to ask this final question, which is, okay, I know we have folks listening who say, “Here’s the thing, I just hope my boss is listening to this, but I know they’re not and I’m the one that’s tired. What advice do you have for me?” Who would like-

Ed Evarts:

I’ll go first. I’m a big fan of transparency in the workplace. And so, if you are feeling a certain way, because feelings will drive our behavior, it is important that you’re comfortable having this type of conversation with your boss. And so, it does require some type of relationship with your boss. And so, I’m also a big fan of building relationships in the workplace so that you can have good conversations, as well as tough conversations. You don’t always want to be the one who only brings good news or only brings bad news, but you want to be able to do both. So, one thing you could do, which is one of many, is to be comfortable saying, “Hey, could I have a few minutes with you on Tuesday? I want to talk a little bit about some things that are going on with me,” and say it and talk a little bit about it and see if with your boss, you can come up with some ideas and solutions on how to get you reenergized. Because of course, if you’re reenergized who wouldn’t want more reenergized people on the team?

Karin Hurt:

That’s so important, Ed. I think so often people are nervous. They are worried that they’re going to be judged. I can tell you I’ve been leading for a very long time and I have never had somebody come to me and have that kind of conversation when I was like, “Oh, I wish they had just kept that to themselves.” Right? Okay. Good. Okay. Eileen?

Eileen McDargh:

Thanks, Karin. Because I want to give them a model that you can use to be assertive without being aggressive and particularly if you’re not too sure how your boss is going to see this, describe, explain, specify, and consequence, describe, explain, and specify and consequence. Describe as you describe real time what the situation, the event, whatever. Express how do you feel about it. Specify what is it that you want. Maybe all you want to do is to be heard. Maybe what you want is, “I need to take one day off,” and then see what will happen as a consequence of getting it. You really might end up writing this out first, like a script. In fact, it’s called scripting, describe, explain… Easy for me to say, describe, explain, specify, and consequence. It’s one way that you can have that type of conversation.

Karin Hurt:

Oh, I think that’s so perfect. That is really interesting. One of the things I would find that when I would ask, somebody would come to me and I’d say, “Okay. So, what do you need from me?” and just crickets. They don’t know. So really, that’s a very good methodology and a good way to think that through. I’ll get to everyone else, but Greg Mitchell is saying, “Tough conversations could be its own session.” We love talking about the art of the tough conversations. So Greg, we will definitely have that as a future Asking for a Friend session. Thanks so much. Okay. Other insights, if you’re the one that’s tired. Julie?

Julie Winkle Giulioni:

Yeah. I just want to double click, Eileen, on your specify, because at the end of the day, you’ve got to figure out for yourself what you need and want and bring that forward. Ask, in no uncertain terms for what’s going to be needed for you to be able to sustain your energy through the period to come. I think we have to acknowledge that our bosses are just as exhausted as we are. So to the extent that we can make saying yes easy by bringing that solution to them, it increases the likelihood for everybody to be satisfied at the end of the conversation.

Karin Hurt:

Perfect. Perfect. Okay. Pierre?

Pierre Quinn:

Yeah. I would add to that. Also, as it was expressed, everybody on our team is wrestling with this in some form or fashion and knowing that it’s okay, and not just okay, it’s advised to have conversations in your different circles with the different sets of expectations about what you’re dealing with. So, one of the things I talk about in my book, Leading While Green, is this leadership square. When I talked to my family about being tired, that’s a totally different conversation than when I’m talking to my peers and colleagues about being tired, which is a different conversation from when I’m talking to people I’m coaching or mentoring, which is a different conversation from when I have a conversation with people who are coaching or mentoring me.

So when I’m in these different quadrants of this leadership square, knowing what am I looking for, what am I going to get when I’m having the conversation with my friends and family, with my peers, with my mentees, with my mentor. And then ultimately, as it was expressed before, with my boss, because we can’t have the expectation that we’re going to get the same impact and same perspective from everybody that we talk to.

Karin Hurt:

Wow. Perfect. Perfect. So Greg is saying, “What do you need from me is such a hard question on both sides. As the manager, I want to answers. As the individual contributor, I don’t even know where to begin.” One of the things I would say there is think about if you don’t know what you need, what is it that is the outcome that you are desiring and then you can ask a series of how can we questions. Okay. “I know this is what I want, so how can we do that and have a conversation together?” That’s one approach. Anyone else want to weigh in on Greg’s question? Eileen?

Eileen McDargh:

Something that I’ve done before with groups is reverse goal setting. Maybe I don’t know what I want, but I know what I don’t want. When I can say, “These are the things that I don’t want. These are the things that drain my energy,” so if I can identify those, then I can begin to look at what’s the flip side. What’s the 180 on the other side where I could go? So that might be one way to go after that. The other thing I think is when we have those difficult conversations is to realize that we all need each other, that I come and I mean you no harm. I am here for your good and for my good, and that is an intention that starts and I’m going to use your word courageous, Karin. Courage comes from the French word coeur, coeur de lion, the heart of the lion is really listening to your heart in that energy, which people can feel even when we’re looking at each other remotely on this Zoom call.

Karin Hurt:

Yeah. Good. Good. Okay. Pierre, you look like you wanted to say something.

Pierre Quinn:

No, I was just double clicking on what Eileen [crosstalk 00:33:19].

Karin Hurt:

Double clicking. All right. Well, we are out of time. I want to just thank you so much. What a powerful panel, what incredible insights. Thank you for being here, sharing your expertise. Thank you for being my friend and supporting our Asking for a Friend, and hope to have another conversation again with you soon.

Eileen McDargh:

Thank you. Thank you, Karin.

Ed Evarts:

Thanks, Karin.

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

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