Ballparks have a special energy – especially during the playoffs. Time seems to slow down as the final chords of the national anthem fade out. Air Force jets fly overhead, and 50,000 fans roar and wave their rally towels in anticipation of the words, “Play Ball!”
At that moment, the energy is electric, and anything is possible – first and foremost is a home team victory.
But, as the game plays on, the energy in the ballpark inevitably shifts. For the fan, it’s just part of the game. For the players, they know the stakes are highest when energy dips.
When energy levels are low or inconsistent for work teams, it’s a different story. Employees’ performance suffers. Executive stakeholders look to you for a plan to reignite your team. These moments call for an energy shot.
Next time your team’s energy levels dip, try these three tips to keep your players in the game:
Victim or Victor
You may feel like Peyton Manning, Lebron, or Jose Batista during practice; however, when you are up against strong competitors or unexpected business conditions, the speed of the game intensifies. You must decide:
Will you be a Victim or Victor – It’s Your Choice.
This was a key question one of my young executive clients faced recently. He was a rising star in his company, but he hit an unexpected performance plateau. He didn’t know why the situation changed, but what he did know is that his team suffered as a result. When I came in to assess his situation, I clearly saw why his performance had peaked then leveled out: He never took the time to develop his self-awareness because he was on the fast track to the corner office. Because he spent no time cultivating his soft-skills, his performance took a hit.
Self-awareness is a key element of emotional intelligence, and it’s the primary driver of your choices. What motives you? What are your stress behaviors?
Through his self-reflection, our coaching, and the power of his Hogan Assessment, he got the self-awareness he needed for his team’s success. What was once an area of development transformed into his secret sauce. He became a more thoughtful, responsive leader.
Where are we going?
The need for better communication rarely is a priority during growth periods. But as soon as you give up a lead, communication becomes priority No.1. Employees will begin to ask: “Where are we all going? And why are we in this hand basket?”
When your communication channels are closed off, the knee-jerk reaction is to believe situations are bleak; thus, your team’s energy levels drop. Here’s the deal: If you don’t shape your team’s vision with an open, transparent communication strategy, others will shape it for you. Heed the advice of Barry Schwartz or Simon Sinek and clearly communicate the “why” behind your team’s purpose.
Several months ago I was advising a Sales Vice President in how to best orchestrate her team’s re-org. She had a significant challenge with a product recall and was standing face-to-face with a reduction in staff. She knew it was clearly needed to turn-around her team, but she still felt worried, frustrated, and drained.
She faced a key leadership moment: How was she going to show up?
Stanford professor, Jeffrey Pfeffer writes in Leadership BS that leaders need to be able to put on a show, to display energy, and connect to others, regardless of how they may feel at the time.
As a leader, there will be days when you have to fake it until you make it. In other words, it’s your job to put your game face on to boost team energy, morale, and confidence in the future.
Comebacks start with a possibilities mindset, and you are key to determining your team’s mindset. Yes, being “real” and “authentic” is well intended and valuable; however, few people want to see their leaders in a 100% authentic mode 24/7/365.
In sports, business, and life, we will all experience energy shifts. How you handle them will influence your success. I can’t always promise first-pitch excitement in the workplace, but I can guarantee that you will be ahead of your competition with greater self-awareness, clear communication, and a possibilities mindset.
With that, I have to run. The crowd is getting all fired up. My team is mounting a comeback.
Are you interested in enhancing your self-awareness? Click “Playbook” to get Peloton’s Leadership Playbook and a special Hogan Assessment offer.