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Bare Minimum Monday And Resilience – Exercise | Deliberate Practice

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From the Post: It’s what you’re not telling your staff that makes them run away screaming

Are you faced with bare minimum or manic Mondays? try to identify the crucial behavior feeding that experience for yourself or your team.

A different way to look at this

I was working with a team with trust issues with each other and their leader, whom I will call Sam. This was a team who had both local and remote workers. This was 2BC (two years Before Covid). After working with them for a couple of hours, the team came to a consensus that the trust issue was caused by a lack of communication. After we identified the crucial behavior of ineffective communication we looked at crucial moments when the lack of communication caused anxiety among the team members.

The number one crucial moment? When Sam didn’t communicate openly with the team causing the remote folks to feel isolated and left out from what was happening in the office which caused animosity, trust issues between team members and Sam, and diminished work efforts.  

As leaders, we know that we set the tone and behaviors of our teams. So Sam decided to focus on his communication behavior and set an example of how the team can practice better communication. It came down to the big issue of Sam only telling the group what he thought they needed to know, or nothing at all… sounds familiar? 

The solution 

To stop the weekend horror show, the scary Sunday, and the manic Monday Sam decided to commit to sending out an email by 10:00 AM  every Friday, and in the subject line it read, “This is what I know.” 

The email was an outline of all the meetings Sam went to during the week. A quick overview of what happened, what was discussed, or if nothing changed or happened he told them that nothing changed or happened. He included a quick overview of the projects they were working on, and the big one… what they could expect for the next week.

Sam agreed to share information that may not be positive or could cause some challenges because the team wanted to know the real reality so they could stop creating their horror show.

Sam deliberately practiced open, honest, and transparent communication and he kept his promise to the team. 

Resilience

We have done several resilience training for individual teams across the organization. In all of our research, we have identified four skills that when practiced can help to mitigate the anxiety that creates the manic Monday.

  1. Find a purpose – When faced with a challenge try to focus on the things you can control and proceed with purpose. Make a plan and stick to it.
  2. Build connections – Prioritize healthy relationships within your team. Build a social support network to assist each other and develop your social awareness. Be alert to the needs of the team and have a dialogue about them.
  3. Embrace healthy thought patterns – Work to maintain proper perspective. Practice realistic optimism (I’ve heard this expressed as practicing courage) even when the outlook might be challenging. Your staff looks to you to be their navigator through the rough waters. View change as an opportunity for growth and in the process embrace humor, a good laugh is very healthy, as long as you are not using humor at someone else’s expense. Tell a good clean dad or mom joke or pun, or better yet, be able to laugh at yourself, that keeps everyone out of trouble.
  4. Foster Wellness – Take care of your mental and physical health. Practice well-being for you and your staff. Allowing your staff to write their own weekend horror story for Monday is not healthy, for any of you.

In Sam’s example, one email at 10:00 AM every Friday made a difference and triggered all four skills in practicing resilience.  

Look for the real challenge or crucial behavior that is fostering an emotion or an emotional response. We can derail ourselves when we look for factors that aren’t there. If you don’t know where to start, sit down with your team and create a safe space to have open, honest, and transparent dialogue.

Ask yourself the question, “What don’t I know?” Then think about your staff asking themselves the question “What don’t I know?”, and watch them create their own story.

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