What’s Keeping You from Solving Hybrid Work is Lurking in Your Team

There’s nothing like an election season to make sport of the blame game.

“If my opponent were doing what I’m doing instead of what they’re doing, everything would be fine.” 

Or worse, “If my opponent would stop doing the thing I’m accusing them of but doing myself, everything would be fine.”

I’ve been talking to my clients about their biggest challenges right now.

Hybrid work comes up again and again.

One big concern is inefficiency. Project management software is only as good as people’s commitment to using it.

Related to that, in a chicken or egg sort of way, is connection. People don’t feel connected.  

That impacts effectiveness for sure, but also trust, balance and burnout.

But when it comes to solving how hybrid work should look, there’s a stuckness. I get it.

And that stuckness is making us play a version of the blame game.

Waiting for things to get back to normal.

Defining normal as the way things used to be (spoiler alert…we’re not going back…)

And kicking the can down the road, hoping someone else will solve it. And getting a little blame-y when they don’t.

Believe it or not, these are versions of the inner critic. And chances are they are lurking in your team.

Blaming circumstances, and others, is just a version of saying, “I can’t figure this out.”  And that is the voice of the inner critic.

Then what can you do?

Well, one of my favorite go-to leaders for solving what’s in the unknown is the head of operations at a large advertising agency.

He told me the other day, “It all has to start with connection.”

Here’s the thing. A lot has changed about the way we are working. But some things are constant.

Two places I love to look are Patrick Lencioni’s “Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” and Daniel Pink’s famous TED talk on motivation.  

Here’s what they say:
  • Trust – make sure to be supportive when people share their frustrations
  • Commitment – there doesn’t have to be consensus, but there does have to be commitment
  • Effective communication – this is different for each team, but people need to be able to safely share what’s on their mind
  • Empathy, especially when mistakes happen, and especially for yourself (see below)
  • Autonomy – think about giving people positive feedback and letting them do their thing
  • Mastery – again, provide specific, positive feedback on the things people do naturally well
  • Purpose – there are big issues to solve in the world today, but a lot of your team’s sense of purpose comes from contributing to their areas of strength.  Highlight that for them
I’ll repeat the empathy piece because it’s so important. For most, the blame game begins when we are hard on ourselves. Realizing you can’t get everything right, every time, but you bring a lot to the table, is the first step. From there you can be more present, more supportive of others, and unlock your own, and your team’s, creativity.

Use your team’s creative thinking and a few basic principles to begin to design the hybrid work solution that makes sense for you.

My best,

Tifin Dillon - Use Astrology for Your Leadership Style

Isabelle Steichen - Millennial Free Agent

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