I used to come to the office each morning with a dance in my step and a smile on my face. I often hummed the last song I heard on the radio as I shared a good morning with everyone. My team would, in turn, greet me with their smiles, their energy and, of course, their current challenges!
But let me tell you it was not always like that!
I started to fall apart
At one point, when the programs expanded quickly and extensively, the stress hit me like a ton of bricks. I was overwhelmed, overworked, and overloaded and falling apart!
As that stress built, my mood dipped. I was scrambling to stay on top of things. I was grouchy and fearful I would drop the ball, fall apart or worse, for the world to realize I was not competent in my role.
I was tough on my team!
As a result, I worked harder. I held my staff to a high standard and came down on them hard for mistakes. I also became more guarded, again, worried someone would see how inept I really was.
Gone wear the morning sing songs. As the relationships deteriorated and people started not to like me so much anymore, I resented them. I'd blame them for not helping out, doing their part or causing more trouble.
From thriving, I went to barely surviving.
Our team culture deteriorated
At the same time, the culture of our team deteriorated rapidly. From a group that enjoyed working together, were loyal and committed, we became a team that gossiped, backstabbed and where everybody fended for themselves.
A leaders mood affects the team's mood
See, here's the thing, when the leader is in survival mode, it affects everyone on the team. Survival mode isn't something you are experiencing alone. It affects everyone on your team, and sadly, in your life!
It started with meI was able to take my team culture from toxic back to thriving only when I found my way out of survival mode. It started with me!
I had to start building my confidence back
I increased my competence in certain areas, built my confidence up and learned to focus on what was truly important in my personal life and at work. Most importantly for my team, I had to work to repair relationships.
Relationships are the foundation of team culture
Relationships are the foundation of team culture. But if you're stuck in survival mode, the last thing you want to do is talk to people. What you are likely doing is keeping your head down and work on your to-do list, responding to email and attending meetings....without any break, pause or moment to catch your breath.
The impacts on your team
Far too often, we think no one notices, can't tell how bad it is or isn't affected that much....um..you might be wrong there! In this week's podcast, I talk about five impacts on your team when you're stuck in survival mode. On the next podcast, you'll hear about how to turn that around.
Start by seeing where you land
To see where you land on The Surviving to Thriving Continuum, grab the download here. Then listen to the podcast and make notes of where this shows up for you and perhaps on your team.
If you want to start getting out of survival mode, begin by taking care of yourself. It's the adage about putting on your oxygen mask first.
Ready to get out of survival mode?
If you are ready to ditch survival mode, you'll need to start by doing the inner work:
You can listen to the first few chapters of Mastering Confidence here.
Need more help?
If you realize you aren't where you want to be on The Surviving to Thriving Continuum, start taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Wellness during your workday is foundational for you to survive in both leadership and life. And remember, thriving is foundational for you to develop relationships with your team members, which creates a thriving culture!
Do the inner work! It's where you need to start to return to thriving in both your leadership and your life!
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.