The Insidious Cult in YOUR Workplace

Cults – people slip into them, become admiring sycophants, develop rituals and admonitions surrounding a reverence towards them. Its a frightful thought, but easier than we realize. There are key catch phrases, which when repeated, indicate that someone belongs to a sect of some sort, that they idolize and devote themselves to a cause. Do you have any guess what the biggest tell for the one in your office is? A simple 3-word phrase.

I’m so tired.

Yes. As simple as that. I’m so tired.

We all know that our mindset, our attitude, affects the outcome and quality of our work. A positive attitude and mindset leads to success, while pessimism often leads to stagnation and breeds inadequacy.

This phrase impacts us, and those around us in several ways:

  • It drains the energy of the team. When one person says “I’m so tired,” all others begin immediately to feel drained. Once one person says it, others do as well. Watch the body language, you can see the sighs, the slumping shoulders, and the decline in energy.
  • It fortifies a culture of obsessive work, beyond levels of productivity. Did you know that productivity is increased through balance and rest? For optimum wellness, all people need balance between work, family, spiritual renewal and rest. It becomes a challenge, a test of loyalty, to work to exhaustion. If you are “so tired,” constantly, then something needs to change.
  • The phrase becomes an enabler for poor performance. People become cranky and irritable and not at their best. Well-rested people are more likely to succeed. It’s a proven fact that influences all, whether children, Olympic athletes, or business executives. If you are tired, then achieving success becomes more elusive.

Liberate your team from the domineering pressure of this cult.

Here’s how!

  • Strike this phrase from your vocabuary. The tone and culture of a workplace and team originates from the top down. When “the boss” says “I’m so tired,” the energy-sapping consequences ripple through the team.
  • Keep your energy, body language, and verbal dynamics up!
  • Prepare “interrupters” to change the subject if one member of your team begins to utter this mantra. Samples could include:
    1. A specific tee-up related to the subject at hand – moving on with the conversation.
    2. Then let’s get you some coffee!
    3. We all get tired every now and again. Let’s power through.
    4. What can we help you change to find more energy?
    5. Dwelling on being tired makes this take longer and seem harder, lets get it done.
  • If a team member continues, sit down and share this article with them.
  • Honestly self-critique your management and expectations. Is your team genuinely driven to exhaustion? Do they have opportunities to recharge? Watch for this and assess this dynamic. Expect and motivate success in the context of realistic expectations.

As leaders of an effective team, we have responsibility for nurturing and developing a culture of positivity, energy, and accountability. Help motivate your team to new heights.

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