How to Support a Team Under Pressure

Written by Dave Bailey

Filed under coaching leadership psychology


With the end of year approaching, many teams are feeling tired and concerned.

For many of you, 2023 was an uncomfortable year. There were layoffs, markdowns, and lots of work:

“Is this how it’s going to be for the next five years? If so, I’m not sure I can keep up...”

Discomfort is to be expected in a growing company with big ambitions. It’s par for the course.

However, too much discomfort for too long can place you in the Burnout Zone.

If you’re concerned about burnout at your company, try the following check-ins with your team: 

1) The Core Needs Check-in

I believe each of us is responsible for our own well-being. It’s up to us to make sure our fundamental needs are met.

Things like exercise, sleep, healthy eating, breaks, socialising, learning and solitude.

Ask your team to reflect on their core needs, and encourage them to take action if they aren’t meeting them.

  • What do you need to operate at top performance?
  • If you’re not meeting one of your needs, how will you address it?

Several times a week, I remind powerful CEOs of their responsibility to look after themselves.

It makes a difference to receive permission from an authority figure (even when we don’t really need it).

2) The Momentum Check-in

In every company, negative feelings are inevitable, but what typically triggers them?

In the book The Gap and the Gain, Dan Sullivan and Ben Hardy discuss a simple yet profound insight...

  • Focusing on the gap between where you are and your ideals will make you feel bad šŸ˜¢
  • Focusing on the gain between where you are and where you were will make you feel better šŸ˜

When you have an inspiring vision for your company, there’s always a long way to go.

But remember, progress is measured backwards, not forwards.

Reflecting on where you were and auditing what you’ve achieved and learned builds a sense of momentum.

Ask your team to share their wins and lessons to refocus their attention on their gains, not their gaps:

  • What were your wins last week?
  • What was your #1 lesson from last week?

As 2023 comes to a close, which of these check-ins would your company benefit from most right now?

Remember, you’re either winning or you're... learning!

Originally published December 13th, 2023.

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