I was recently in a group discussion and someone asked me how to identify Dis-Stress on their team.
They said that they will ask people on their team how things are going, and the reply is always the same.
"I'm doing alright."
They wanted to know how to draw out from their team the reality of what is going on.
There's a few things to recognize.
This first is this.
About 80% of people are going through Burnout.
That means that just about everyone is in some state of Dis-Stress.
If they say, "I'm doing alright", it means one of two things.
- They "might" actually be doing well, but these individuals are extremely few and far between (I'd estimate less than 1% of people)
- More likely, they don't trust you enough yet to tell you.
So, what are you to do as a Leader?
First, is assume that the vast majority of the time people are experiencing some level of Dis-Stress.
It may be a small amount, but as I always say, All Stress Adds.
What could be small today, could become Dis-Stress tomorrow.
Also, most people don't "love" to talk about what the feel is going wrong in their life, so it could take time to get them to discuss their real Stresses.
Next, look between the lines of what people say and do.
Often, you can infer where people may be experiencing Dis-Stress.
As an example, if someone has talked a lot about their relationship in the past suddenly stops talking about it, you might be able to "infer" something is going on there.
If a person on your team usually walks tall and proud, but today is moving slowly and they look tired, they may not have gotten good sleep.
Or perhaps they talk about how they had to give up a subscription on one of their streaming services, which could indicate they are having financial challenges and are "budgeting".
You may not be able to "solve" their problem, but that isn't the point either.
With inferring, you are gauging a person's ability to handle Stresses, identify when they are in Dis-Stress, or when Dis-Stress is just around the corner.
This gives you power on your team by being able to adjust whatever plans you have based on where your teams' Stresses currently are.
From here, your next goal is to be an Exemplar.
See, Leaders often struggle to get what they need from their teams because they have not earned trust yet.
In today's world, few people are willing to trust.
We have so often been burned by other people and organizations that we struggle to trust anyone.
This means that, as a Leader, we need to prove to our people we are worthy of trust.
Words will not suffice.
The only thing that will prove trustworthiness is Action.
This is where being an Exemplar comes in.
Exemplars prove their words have meaning by DOING what they say, proving what they say they believe in daily, and getting results.
If you say you're going to help your team, what are you doing to help solve their problems?
Have you actually solved any of those problems?
If you haven't, they won't trust you, it's that simple.
So prove to them you're a person to be Trusted, live up to your words!
Be an Exemplar!
There is a great story from Ghandi about this.
A mother approached Ghandi and asked him to tell her son to stop eating sugar!
Ghandi asked her to come back in a month's time.
She was confused, but agreed.
A month she waited.
Then she came back with her son and asked Ghandi again.
This time, Ghandi looked the boy in the eye and told him that he needed to stop eating sugar.
The mother asked why Ghandi didn't do that a month before?
Ghandi told the mother that a month before he was still eating sugar and could not in good conscious tell the boy to stop eating sugar until he had done it himself!
Ghandi first needed to be an Exemplar.
After he was, only then did he have the ability to tell the boy to stop eating sugar.
The final thing you have available to you as a Leader is to combine the last two aspects.
If you infer something is a Dis-Stress in the lives of your team, look at what you are doing in your own life that may be able to help.
If they have a Sugar problem (which indeed can cause Dis-Stress in our guts), what have you done to work on your own Sugar problems?
Have you worked on it at all?
If not, maybe you need to work on yours first, and then invite others on your team to join you.
Or perhaps you have gotten it figured out, and there was a great resource (a book, or a video), that you could talk about how it improved your life!
When people actually see you as an Exemplar, they will listen to what helped you, and when they are ready they will attempt to use what you used to help themselves.
If you see members of your team struggling on projects, find out why they might be struggling.
See what resources you have used in your life to overcome similar struggles.
If you are currently struggling in the same ways, focus on overcoming your struggles first.
In the process of this, others will learn to trust you, they will listen to you more, and you will not need to "infer" as much because you earned trust.
About the Creator
Creator of the 4X Award-Winning Category "Legendary Leadership" | Faith, Family, Freedom, Future | The Legendary Leadership Coach, Speaker, Writer & Podcast Host | For More of Cody Dakota's Work Go To: https://www.TheLeadership.Guide