I'm Feeling Stuck, What Do I Do?

Feb 15, 2021
I'm Feeling Stuck, What Do I Do? Conversations Worth Having

Monday Kickstarters is a working session designed for everyone on the call to figure out how to have conversations worth having when faced with a tough situation or problem. The process is based upon the book, Conversations Worth Having.  You can listen live to this session on Vimeo.

Monday, February 15, 2021 we discussed three topics: an under performing employee, feeling stuck and unable to move forward on ideas, and inappropriate behavior with a student. Here’s how they unfolded along with a few insights.

An Under Performing Employee

  • Name it: An underperforming employee (who seems to have other interests)
  • Flip it: Performing to standards; Meeting expectations
  • Frame it:
    • She turns into a stellar employee! (choice)
    • Exceptional work
    • Each team member performs expected responsibilities
    • Engaged and committed employee
    • Engaged performance
  • Generative Questions:

Additional GQs from the Chat:

  • What about your job or our organization excites you?
  • What would make you feel more engaged with your work?
  • What could we do to make you feel more engaged with your work?
  • What would make the employee feel more engaged with her work?

Take time to use the frame you’ve created to set the conversation up for the employee. For example, you might say, “I noticed the other day when you took time for your MRI, it looked like you also spent time with an online business. You’ve shared that you really want to be a stellar employee and I was confused when I saw your posting. Can you share a little with me about your other business and what your long term goals are for working with me?” It’s important to come from a mindset of curiosity and interest in the highest good for both of you. If you discover her long term commitment is to you and the organization, then the questions above are great. Often it’s helpful to begin with one of the questions inviting her to tell you about an experience of stellar performance; that way, you ground the conversation in her experience of being her best self (a great feeling!). Her story will shed light on the conditions that help her perform in stellar fashion. If her long term commitment is her own business, it may be a totally different conversation.

I’m Stuck

  • Name it: I’m stuck. I’m not doing what I know I should be doing, eventually I just drop my ideas.
  • Flip it: I’m unstuck and moving forward.
  • Frame it:
    • Have confidence in knowing what to do next
    • Clear direction
    • Living my passion… loving my work
    • More ideas would be considered which could open up numerous possibilities
    • Clarity of purpose
    • I trust myself
    • I have a plan to pursue the things I know I[‘m capable of.
    • I have purpose and direction.
  • Generative Questions:

Additional Generative Questions:

  • What could I achieve if I didn’t think I was stuck?
  • What do I need to feel secure?
  • When I was a child, how did I know I trusted myself?
  • Who is a person who can help me sort through my thoughts?
  • What’s the worst thing that could happen if I move forward?
  • Who knows me well enough to hear me and remind me of my strengths?

Inappropriate Behaviors

  • Name it: I witnessed inappropriate behavior by teacher/staff member with a student.

You already have the framing for the conversation here. Addressing inappropriate behavior directly and making sure it is corrected. This is a great example for the need to pause, breathe, and get curious before talking to the staff member. What don’t you know? (e.g., their intentions, their assumptions). What did they think the student was trying to do?  Always beneficial to start by clarifying what you observed — ask questions to make the invisible visible, which may well be enough for the staff member to see other behavior options all by themselves.

Generative Questions 

Additional Generative Questions:

  • First ask the student if they are okay? How are they feeling? How can you help.
  • Then check the teacher’s intention, wellbeing, and need for assistance.
  • What was the teacher’s intention and how might they have achieved it in a different way?
  • What are de-escalating behaviors that you have used with success in the past?

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