Organizational weather

What’s the climate like at your workplace right now? Rainy, drizzly, stormy or is the sun starting to shine through the clouds?

Important questions to ask when you think about your own attitude towards your work, and how your team is thriving. As UBalancer Coaches, we are able to delve into the realm of Talent and Team Dynamics when organizations are experiencing periods of stress, change and disruption. Rapid growth, on boarding of new talent, or perhaps scaling back and downsizing in times of mergers and acquisitions or financial tightening can all rattle emotions and teams.

We should never forget that it is emotions that drive our people, and people who drive the performance of our teams. Understanding two fundamental organizing principles of the brain can help leaders and managers navigate through stormy weather patterns, bringing calm and a stabilizing clarity so that teams can quickly regain their state of flow. We need to remember that our brains find that calm, clear space when we have feelings of Safety and Certainty.

So in times of change and transition, our brain naturally defaults to the fight and flight Limbic zone of heightened alert and threat. In this state we are unlikely to be able to think clearly for ourselves, let alone bring our best creative work and positive self to our team.

Just as we turn to barometers to measure changes in the climactic weather, it’s helpful for us to take a closer look at the vital barometers that measure how our teams are tracking.

  • How MOTIVATED is your team at the moment? What score would you give them on a simple 1 – 10 rating scale, where 1 means not at all & 10 means highly motivated?

The Emotional Intelligence competencies of intrinsic motivation, optimism and having a sense of our bigger purpose ‘our why’ all inform our intrinsic motivation, that self driven force to make our own way with direction, energy and passion. What does this mean for leaders and managers trying to motivate their teams? In a nutshell, connect them to a greater cause so that they can feel the relevance of their work. Help them to see the vision and set out a clear path as to how you are all going to collaborate to get there, one achievable step at a time. Be positive and fuel their optimism by clearly communicating how long the situation is going to go on for, and the benefits that putting in effort is going to make.

  • On a scale of 1 – 10, how do you rate the TEAMWORK?

Are you drawing on peoples’ strengths and hiring into their weaknesses, collaborating, delegating, and communicating effectively? Do you have regular weekly meetings scheduled within each team so that priorities are managed and expectations set? Does your team understand the concept of flow – how to best use their time and energy?

  • On a scale of 1 – 10, how do you rate EXECUTION in your teams?

Personal and team effectiveness reflects our ability to get done what we undertake to do. To have the confidence to generate results through exerting influence and having presence in conversations and meetings. Execution is one of the building blocks of trust – people will more willingly let go of control and give us more autonomy when they know we can be relied on to get things done.

  • On a scale of 1 – 10, how well does your team weather CHANGE?

Change is normal as life has a way of hijacking us. Every day throws challenges and unexpected situations our way, and it’s how we navigate our emotions through these times that determines our adaptability or Bounce back factor. Teams who can sail through these rough seas without losing their mast will win the race every time. The trick here is to let go of what you have no control over, take hold of what you can control and do it well. Stay mindfully calm, check the radar at regular intervals to check in when the seas are calming & when it’s OK to put up another sail.

  • Last but not least, what is the TRUST factor like in your team?

How well are you communicating? Can you rely on a curious, open style with tons of good listening? Are you able to stay positive and bring a Growth Mindset to work every day? How well are you innovating and coming up with creative solutions and plans, and can you be relied on to look after each other and your clients?

So what skills are we looking for in the captains who are sailing their team ships through seas when the weather is stormy?

In essence, how honest, open and transparent are your leaders and manager during such times? Everyone comes to respect a captain who can take ownership of any mistakes and present them as opportunities for learning and a better way forward. Everyone thrives when they can start to have more Safety around their position, can clearly see where they fit into new structures and how they can bring their unique strengths to stabilizing their part of the ship with a clear vision of where they are collectively now heading. People are able to tolerate change, as long as they feel heard, validated with a clear understanding of their new direction.

In such conditions the team will begin to thrive and the weather will improve once individuals begin to feel more Certainty, as not knowing what’s coming next is ultimately debilitating.