Moving Forward when your Team is Stuck

The challenge: How can leaders navigate forward with innovation while followers are still in SCARF mode in the present and not ready to move forward.

Leaders can help themselves in 3 ways:

1. Awareness: interact in real, human and casual meetings. Talk about life with your team, not work. Try to understand where they are in the middle of challenging times. Be aware of the emotional state of your team. Be curious and ask questions. COVID-19 has a limbic impact. People are struggling emotionally and are trying to manage their emotional well-being

2. Communicate & Empathize: Tell stories that resonate with your team. Show you understand their insecurities by sharing stories of victory.

Nancy Duarte, in her TED talk several years ago, shared how she examined the greatest speeches in American history. She found an amazing pattern. Every speech started with reality and then moved to what could be. Then back to reality and back to what could be. That looping pattern resonated with people, inspiring people to move and act. They offered hope to people and communicated a shared vision.

3. Co-design: Develop a pln together to move forward through the challenging time. Help your team describe what will can be done, who can do it, and when it can happen. Develop feedback loops or checkpoints, to ensure movement and innovation are still happening. Empower people to lead, and be prepared for shifts in leadership.