1 Jul, 2018

Are you stuck?

“It was all going so well! We have our vision, our mission and our strategy. We’ve got the organisational values, up on the wall. We’ve spent several months on the business plan and now its been published. 

We had team briefings and made posters and sent emails. But nothing has changed.

Are you stuck?

Are you

“So, why isn’t it working?”

I can’t tell you how often I’ve had conversations that are like this – or very similar. I have them because I’ve been asked into a business as a ‘fix’ for these kinds of issues.

The first question I always want to ask is:

Where are you stuck?

If you know where you are going and you aren’t making progress, there is usually some idea of what is getting in the way. What is interesting is that, in most cases, the issue seems to lie with someone else.

Where are you stuck? 

People aren’t behaving in the way we need them to

Where are you stuck? 

The technology doesn’t work the way it is supposed to

Where are you stuck? 

My boss isn’t supporting me

It can take quite a few rounds of this for someone to listen to the question properly.

Where are YOU stuck?

Are you stuck?

It is so easy, when things aren’t going according to plan, to focus on everything and everyone else and to not look at our own situation and to go to work on ourselves. To be clear, this isn’t an exercise in beating yourself up. It would be very easy to come back with a response like “I’m not good enough” in these circumstances. That’s a habit many of us have, of course! We believe what we have learned over the years from the external world and compare ourselves to others and see only our weaknesses. That’s why we don’t want to look at what needs work in ourselves and want to make everything everybody else’s fault.

So, when you look at yourself in the context of challenges of work, you need to be objective and curious.

Where are you stuck? 

I find it hard to explain to my team what is needed.

Where are you stuck? 

I was always busy so I skipped the training and I don’t really understand the technology. 

Where are you stuck? 

I find it really hard to ask my boss for more support. 

These are honest answers – and they then open you up to the next and most powerful question anyone can ever ask themselves.

What one thing that we do today will make a difference?

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