Building Morale: WYSIWYG

What You See Is What You Get

Building morale requires having the ability to see people and relationships accurately in the moment. It is a high-level skill for leaders who operate in a what you see is what you get world. (WYSIWYG or ‘wiz – ee – wig’ ). Writing this post I am using a WYSIWYG editor. The beauty of this technology is, it gives you immediate publishing and viewing of what you write. It immediately reflects back to you what you hope to see in the finished product, offering clarity and the ability to evaluate the work as you go.

People reflecting their leaders is not a new concept, nor is it a revelation to most leaders. Many proverbs, books, movies and social media posts have articulated this principle ad nauseam.  Yet, the issue remains. Many struggle to grow and maintain morale over long periods of time. Often, it is not the absence of direction, but a lack of self-examination. Blame tends to go both ways, and morale begins to sink. Building or recovering high morale is possible if cycles of behavior can be exchanged for new habits.

Leaders in any capacity or level of influence are fixed objects standing firm to cast and reflect character bringing the best out of those they lead. What they do, say and how they act toward their people is a model of how to succeed or fail. By reflecting their best and worst qualities, they influence others with their actions.  A leader is not perfect, nor should they try to be, but are an inspiration and guide for growth. They are like a mirror for those that follow. What followers see in them will be modeled and reflected. 

With the struggle to ensure safety, inquire thoughtfully and inspire consistently the results can be pettiness, anger, defensiveness, lack of productivity, passive/aggressive behaviors, withdrawal, high turnover and more. Morale declines the longer the leader struggles. To bring improvement here are a few behaviors to consider.

7 Morale Building Behaviors

  • Demonstrate humility – Serve their people. Protect the team. Do not assume motives.
  • Take responsibility – Own their mistakes and pursue reconciliation in conflict.
  • Measure their words – Speak directly, kindly, clearly, and concisely.
  • Ask powerful questions – Learn before they speak. Use open questions. [Read Powerful Questions]
  • Evaluate with equity  – Live by the measure they hold to others. Do not expect from others what they are not willing to do themselves.
  • Encourage appropriately – Find the best in their team. Empower them to lead. Invest time in developing other leaders.
  • Communicate well – Consistent. Listen. Engaged. Winsome. Helpful. Inspiring.

Questions

  • What questions have you asked of your team that sponsored feedback and insight into the overall team morale?
  • When was the last time you opened yourself up to get help?
  • What evidence have you seen of misguided behavior in those under you?
  • What areas of growth in morale and team unity are you looking for in the next 3 months?
  • What methods could you employ to discover and adjust to make those improvements?

Summary

These 7 reminders are not comprehensive, but they can be the catalyst toward rebuilding morale in a team or organization. If you see patterns that you wish you change and desire more assistance in moving forward, our ShiftAgent coaching program may be right for you. We are here for you, contact us and we will be glad to assist.