How to Get Rid Of That Groundhog Day Feeling

‘What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?’

That sounds pretty awful, right? Yet in many ways that is what people are experiencing in organisations that rely too heavily on a command and control leadership model. 

When the normal behaviour of a Manager is to dictate what will happen, what to do, where to go, who to work with, even what to think, there is a very real risk that people will develop a ‘learned helplessness’ that will significantly decrease engagement levels, performance and productivity.

Three ways organisations can get rid of that Groundhog Day feeling

 Stop Telling and Start Asking

According to recent research by Core HR 6 in 10 people defined as ‘smart talent’ say they don’t feel that their organisation listens to their opinions. It is frightening to imagine just how many opportunities are lost through the habitual suppression of an organisation’s top talent. Organisations that want to turnaround this situation need to take action to change the way Managers interact with their people.

The implementation of formal communication channels may go some way to appease this feeling however the real difference will occur when Managers stop telling and start asking. An ‘Enquiry-Led Approachr‘ to leadership that is central to Operational Coaching®, is far more likely to engender greater levels of contribution from employees than any forum or committee. Notion’s CEO, Dominic Ashley-Timms explains, “Our ‘Enquiry-Led Approach®‘ has the power to revolutionise what occurs between individuals and groups and is proven to have a profound impact on relationships between people, the quality of ideas, and on the way things are done.”

'Anything Different is Good'

Establishing conditions that are conducive for learning is essential to reduce that feeling of being stuck. This doesn’t have to come in the form of expensive and laborious training programmes; simply enabling people to make their own choices, and then supporting them to learn from the outcomes, will satisfy that continual desire to develop, and reduce feelings of inertia and apathy. Managers that move away from a command and control leadership model and adopt an Operational Coaching® style will soon discover that they can create learning opportunities in every interaction, on the fly, in busy operational settings. With an unfathomable 96% of ‘smart talents’ claiming that their employers could benefit more from their skills and strengths, creating frequent opportunities to learn, can only be a win-win situation for any organisation.

‘Set them free’

That feeling of reliving the same day over and over and going nowhere fast can be relieved somewhat when organisations take a proactive approach to career management, yet only 36% of ‘smart talent’s’ believe that their organisation has helped them to develop a clear career path. Narrow definitions of career management are often present in hierarchical organisations and may foster frustration or despair. However, in today’s environment, where talent is much more transient, a more inventive approach to career development is needed.

Alongside structured career progression, Managers who use an Operational Coaching® style of leadership can invite people to undertake greater levels of ownership, freedom and control in their work which will in turn help to stimulate feelings of improvement and advancement.  When employees experience higher levels of engagement, empowerment, learning, and purpose – no two days will ever be the same again.

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