Wherever they are, rest assured you helped to put them there.
It is time for leaders to learn to be agile, to fail forward, to live in their Smart State (where emotional engagement, innovation, collaboration reign) and ultimately, guide their teams there too. Unfortunately, we aren’t always aware of what sends us into ourCritter State (fight/flight/freeze) and what sends us into our Smart State.
In a previous blog I covered what happens when performance hijacksoccur. Our Critter State is trying to keep us safe by running an old program that worked once, meaning that we survived that original situation. The Critter State will always trump the Smart State. Survival will always be coded as paramount. The trick is to increasesafety, belonging, and mattering and provide specific structures to support them. When we do that, we even make it safe for our team to recognize when they are triggered and to shift to the positive alternative–where they have choice, can allow change, and can promote innovation.
Let’s take a look at what sends us into our Critter State versus our Smart State.
Behaviors That Send Your Team Into Critter State Or Smart State
What Sends Us Into Our Critter State / What Sends Us Into Our Smart State
Layoffs, reorganizations without explanation / Clear messaging on what this layoff or reorganization means and how it is for the health of the company and team
Conflict / A culture that supports differing opinions and acknowledges plus resolves conflict openly
Gossip / Zero tolerance for gossip, with full leadership support
Political posturing / Zero tolerance for politics, backstabbing, sabotage, and undermining, with full leadership support
Secrecy, the unknown / Consistent and transparent communication
Mixed messages, unclear expectations / Explicit communication and needle movers
Budget cuts / Clear messaging on belt-tightening and how we can all chip in
Imposed change / Clear change messaging with an explanation as to why and what it means
Revenue, key customer loss / Clear messaging on how we’ll turn this around
Burnout / Sustainable cultures with managed workloads
I hope by now you’re convinced that the Smart State is better for business, especially a business where innovation and change are necessary for growth. It’s also the optimal state to lead from, sell from, grow from, live from. It’s all about the Smart State.
What percentage of time do you spend in your Smart State? Your Critter State?
What percentage of your team’s time is spent in their Smart State? Their Critter State?