I just love chocolate milk. In my opinion, the best chocolate milk is made when you add chocolate syrup to milk. The problem is the good stuff (chocolate) goes right to the bottom. In order to get the good stuff, you have to stir it up! Isn’t that true in our lives? I know lots of people do not like ruffling feathers, conflict, change, asking tough questions. For many, settling for the status quo is easier but is that what we are called to do… settle?
As leaders (please remember we are all leaders in some capacity), when we feel ourselves or our teams settling we need to remember that doing things the same way every day will not allow us to grow. Without growth we begin to decay. The best parts of us seem to settle to the bottom of the glass. So here are some quick suggestions on how to stir it up and get to the good stuff….
Change your seat and change your perspective! – I have known people who sit in the same church pew every Sunday. Maybe it is time to sit by new people so you can meet them. When you are speaking with someone on your team, get out from behind the desk and sit next to them or take them to have a cup of coffee out of the office. Try it! I guarantee it will probably shock your teammate and you will feel different too.
Ask questions! Why do we always do it this way? Why do we all sit at the same conference table in the same seats? Why do we need to do that? Simple questions can lead to simple changes, great conversations and ultimately wonderful new discoveries! Do I have a servant attitude? What can I learn from this in order to improve?
Move responsibilities to others on the team or take on a new responsibility – By not growing you become stagnant and decay starts to set in. Challenge yourself and others by cross training. Inspire others to learn in order to help each other through trying something new. Don’t let boredom lead to poor morale. Have some fun and think of the increased flexibility everyone has when they can take some well deserved time off because they are not the only ones who know their jobs.
Surprise one of your teammates with a compliment in front of their peers for a job well – What a nice way to start a day, a genuine public thank you for a job well done. Try this and watch the smiles pop up on your teams’ faces. You will feel better too. It also highlights good behavior.
Remember the best chocolate milk is when you stir the syrup that has been settling at the bottom. Don’t settle for average. Stir things up and experience the extraordinary. You can do it. Go get the good stuff out of your team and your life.
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