A common issue for leaders is to take on or be given more initiatives than their team has capacity to execute. And saying ‘No’ isn’t always an option. When your team feels overwhelmed, try this:
- Acknowledge there’s too much work. Pretending that everything’s fine and that they should be able to handle it will make your team feel misunderstood and resentful.
- Kill all non-essential projects and activities. Ask for your team’s input on what should or shouldn’t go.
- Be sure to communicate “up” about your team’s overload.
- Aggressively filter new demands on your team’s time.
- Model behaviors that encourage renewal. Set off-hours for answering email, take visible breaks, and stick to a reasonable work schedule. If you work 12-hour days, you signal to your team that they should do it, too.
As a leader, remember that you are your team’s defense against overload.
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