“This is on you,” Jennifer’s boss said, “the ball is in your court, and something has to change. You’ve got 60 days to show improvement.”
Excessive turnover was just one indicator that Jennifer’s department was in critical condition. Negativity had infected her entire team. Trust was absent. Communication was harsh. Personal responsibility was absent. Finger-pointing was the norm.
Low engagement plummeted the productivity of the entire department. The communication lines remained broken between team leaders and upper management. Team morale barely had a pulse.
Frustration within the team spilled over onto frontline employees. Stress and conflict killed whatever fun had ever been in their work environment.
Jennifer’s boss didn’t leave her to figure it out on her own. The HR Director engaged a coach to give her 1-on-1 support.
Jennifer’s first personal work assignment was to notice what was going on. “You don’t have to fix anything. Just observe what’s going on with your team and department. Pay attention to what you see. Keep asking this question: “If I had a magic wand, what would I change?” Keep a running list this week.”
Jennifer returned the following Thursday with a page full of notes. She began reading her list. “Change the negative attitudes. Eliminate losses due to employee carelessness, etc.”
“Wait,” she interrupted herself. “There was one key I began to notice.”
As she turned the paper over she quietly said,“If I had a magic wand … I would change me.”
That was Jennifer’s personal breakthrough.
“People will change when they see me change my actions, what I say, and how I say and do things.”
It was her powerful moment of insight. Now, she could expand her personal influence in others as she engaged the process of change — in herself.
Of course, the work of changing her behavior continues, but she exercised her ability and willingness to learn and change. Her team moved out of the critical care ward and began to display unity, motivation, and success.
Complaints that upper management doesn’t care are down from what they had been before we started working together. Sure, there’s still work to do, but fun and joy are beating again with a steady, strengthening pulse.
What about YOUR performance breakthrough?
If you had a magic wand, what would you change? Where do you feel frustrated, overwhelmed, or stuck?
Spend this week observing and writing down what’s going on and what you would change in your team and department. Then see which one you can do something about first.
Here’s to your next level,
P.S. At the end of last week’s blog, I mentioned an opportunity for 12 people to learn the four secrets of performance breakthrough. In four hours, those 12 will have a breakthrough plan to join early 20th century Paris art salons, Jesus and the 12 disciples and late 70‘s Silicon Valley garages in their success. Don’t miss out.
Image Credit: Xavier Verges via Flickr