The Troops are Anxious
“People are nervous—big names are leaving the company and this can start a tidal wave. How do I keep them calm and focused?” asked a VP yesterday during her coaching session.
With an estimated 300 technology professionals under her leadership, Stevie is tackling this dynamic, along with all the other challenges of executing massive IT projects with aggressive timelines in an organization still integrating from a recent merger.
Normalizing the Dynamic
I reminded her that she has the advantage of seeing the big picture within her organization and beyond, yet many of her team members don’t have that knowledge or experience.
People unknowingly add to their own stress and anxiety when they think, “We’re the only ones” or “I’m the only one.” So, I encouraged her to help her team members recognize that this is happening in nearly every business.
Expressing this in a knowing and supportive manner can help them:
- Not feel like it’s only them.
- Build their awareness and business perspective.
Playing Not to Lose vs. Playing to Win
Stevie also shared that the executive team seemed oblivious—they weren’t discussing the issue, nor developing a strategy. Luckily this was a small team session where I was coaching Stevie and her peer, Anna.
Anna jumped in, “This reminds me of when football teams play not to lose. We have employees who will leave the company and go elsewhere. Good for them if they’re able to negotiate a perfect next step. Instead of focusing on not losing our employees, let’s get on the offense.”
Yes! Then she asked a fantastic Advancing Question™, “What are the opportunities here?”
Followed by, “How will we stay on the offense to take full advantage?”
Brilliant. Anna shifted the focus of the team and they were now thinking and creating a plan of attack with a Playing to Win mindset and energy!
Leading your team to Play to Win
Advancing Questions™ are your power tools here. Be sure you’re asking both yourself and others thought-provoking questions such as:
- How am I increasing talent retention through my personal leadership and interactions?
- What behaviors and communication do I expect all my leaders to exercise in order to take advantage of building a more productive and compelling culture?
- How am I involving critical talent in creating our talent strategy?
- Who am I challenging to conduct Stay Interviews so that we reduce the number of Exit Interviews?
The War for Talent is on. This is a time to honestly assess yourself and your businesses. You can turn this situation into your greatest competitive advantage.