Feeling Like a Fraud?

Last week a client told me that calls with her team have become mentally exhausting.  She tries to be upbeat, but just feels like she’s lying.  Nothing is in her control and there’s no good news on the horizon.  

“That’s no fun,” I said. 

 “I know, right?” she said. 

And not long after that, without even realizing it, she was talking about how hard times offer real opportunity for growth.  Her creative inner wisdom had taken the lead.

What happened?  Well, the things we want to avoid have a way of dragging us down.  For this client, I suggested a way to shift the calls so her team would be more connected and motivated, and she would be less exhausted.

Permission.  Give your team permission to not be at their best, to complain a little, to be frustrated, or whatever.  Like my client, they will shift to a more positive mindset.  A few power phrases for really good listening are:

  • It’s a lot.
  • Say more about that.
  • What’s hard about this?

The trick is that when they say what’s on their mind, resist the urge to take it positive.  Give them just a bit more time to feel heard and seen, and let them shift.  When you push someone before they’re ready, it breaks the connection.

Just because you or your team feel down, doesn’t mean you aren’t performing. We all deserve a little grace when things are tough.

All my best,


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