To Action: ‘Breaking Good’ Those Teams Stuck In Despair
But what if your teams are stuck at the opposite end of the motivational spectrum?
We’ve likely all seen it. That team that’s a black hole of ideas and performance. Sucking it all in – never to be seen again. Feet are dragged. Audible sighs of inconvenience are often heard… And they almost always find an excuse for why they can’t take on the next project.
These are teams stuck in ‘Despair’.
Those in Despair suffer from a complete and utter lack of hope. These people despise coming into work every day and are very likely miserable. They almost always feel stuck, because if they didn’t, you can be sure they would have moved on already. A primary factor for those in Despair is a feeling that their work at your organisation doesn’t matter. They have given up and will just do the bare minimum to get by. Teams stuck in Despair are some of the most difficult to work with, and as much as we would all love to pretend that they don’t exist – we’ve all come into direct contact with them throughout our careers (or perhaps have been there ourselves!).
But are they truly a lost cause? No.
There’s a key issue at play with those stuck in Despair – and that is that they are stuck!
So how do we as change leaders help them ‘break good’?
Provide An Excuse For Hope
The thing is, we humans don’t like to be wrong. What this means is that very rarely will we willingly change our minds without some form of new information or decision catalyst. This is especially so with strongly held negative views. So, to break the shackles of Despair, your aim here is to discretely give these teams the permission to change their mind. None of us want to feel we are inconsistent, so there needs to be a notable change in something around them.
In short – they need an excuse to change their mind.
This requires a physical change in either one or more of the following:
· Who (their team),
· What (their work),
· When (their timetabling),
· Where (their location), or
· How (their systems and processes).
It’s important to keep in mind that these changes will be met with absolute cynicism by those in Despair. The flicker of hope may not be obvious, but it will be there. And both you and they need it.