I recently received a report from an EOS® company leader who said their team has been feeling a bit "bummed" lately. The pandemic hasn’t hurt their business – in fact, they have thrived during it. Still, they feel almost melancholy sometimes, even after an excellent Level 10 Meeting™ when they’ve solved a lot of issues. They said that because their Level 10s always seem to focus on negative things, like problems, barriers, obstacles, issues, etc., all that leads to a general feeling of negativity.
I conferred with several of my fellow EOS Implementers about this, and they, too, noted that this is not uncommon. So, I did some research and found out that it is quite normal for high-performing teams to experience this occasionally.
It's completely natural! And there seems to be a common approach to battling it. The ways to combat this negative funk involve an intentional re-focusing on the positive and recognizing how far you've traveled in the right direction. First, let's review the nature of the EOS Tools. The Level 10 Agenda focuses on:
All these things are done to identify barriers, obstacles, problems, and opportunities, before spending time on IDS - Identifying, Discussing, and Solving problems, as well as opportunities to get better, serve customers, do new projects, etc.
Thus, the best news is that we are truly "on-track!" We know that we ARE achieving our Vision as long as we are:
Here are a few tricks others are using to relieve any negative feelings that may be in the air at the end of a Level 10 meeting.
1. Add a "Best of" poll to the Conclusion item on the agenda. Do this similar to the way you do Good News at the beginning of the meeting. Go around the table and invite each person to share positive results that came from the meeting. Ask questions like:
This helps us re-focus on the victory of what we've gotten DONE.
2. Hold a clear-the-air meeting. In our EOS Toolbox under "Trust Builders," we discuss calling a meeting anytime team health starts to feel a bit funky. We’re essentially asking, "What's ____-ing you off?". That's a basic tactic you can use when needed to relieve tension, get things out in the open, get to the root cause of the malaise, remind ourselves of what we're all about, and get re-focused.
3. Stick to the Meeting Pulse™. Remember that the Meeting Pulse is more than just the weekly Level 10. It includes Quarterly Planning days and Annual Planning Retreats. If L10's are like tactical "time outs" in a football game, the Quarterlies and Annuals are like 1st quarter, halftime, 3rd quarter breaks before the post-game at the Annual, when we review the game that just ended, prepare for the next, and celebrate the wins. If you're skipping Quarterlies and Annuals, you're missing opportunities to rest, reflect, celebrate, and re-calibrate.
4. Do your Quarterly State of the Company Address. This meeting has a basic agenda:
This helps us focus on the progress we've made, acknowledge that what we are doing is hard, celebrate the wins, and look forward to more of them.
Here are some things you can study and share with your team to help better understand what you're experiencing and learn how to stay more positive against our human tendency to see more negative:
The Gap and The Gain: How to Measure Success - Multiplier Mindset. A six-minute YouTube by Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach, explaining this remarkable phenomenon.
Six Ways Highly Successful People Stay Positive from Fast Company.
How to Use Optimism to Defeat Adversity from Forbes.
The Dip by Seth Godin. A great book about how the best power through the realization that big things are hard to accomplish.
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