Asking for support or help doesn’t always come easy, whether it is in our teams or personal lives. And it is SO very important to have a support system we know will be there when we need it.

Over the holidays, my closest friend called me up at 6:08 AM and asked me for some help with six foster puppies. She had come down with a severe case of food poisoning, could barely move, and definitely could not manage the care, feeding, and cleaning of six 8-week-old puppies. I spent the whole day with these little guys and gals and was happy to help.

Plus, puppies!

Six cute, cuddly poop producers! Happy to support a dear friend (and she finally feels better—food poisoning is definitely something to be avoided at all costs!).

And speaking of support, how can you help your team feel more supported? 

How would 2024 feel if your team started the year feeling more supported, connected, and energized? 

Ask them!

  • Schedule at least 90 minutes for the following activity.
  • Involve as many people as possible in identifying ideas and solutions.
  • Be creative.
  • Here are some prompts to get you started:
    • “Let’s start by celebrating our wins from 2023. Let’s list as many wins as we can. They can be small wins, personal wins, team wins, or organizational wins.”
      • Set a timer for 3-5 minutes for people to reflect and write down their own and the team and/or organization’s wins.
      • Break into small groups of 2-4 people and ask each person to share 1 or 2 of their top wins in their group.
    • “Choose one win that was particularly important to you. Please share why you chose that one.”
    • “How can these wins inspire us even more in 2024?”
    • “What could we easily do so that you feel more supported, connected, or energized in 2024?”
  • If some ideas pop up that are not easily implemented, consider creating a small “tiger team” (that’s what one of my clients called a small specialized task force or sprint team) to break the big idea into smaller, more easily implemented ideas or tasks.
  • The key is to find some things that COULD be implemented within a reasonable timeframe and parameters that could have significant impacts.

 

Key Takeaways

While the puppies couldn’t really tell me what they needed, they could certainly show me with their behavior! They had very clear needs for being fed, watered, and having clean puppy pads. And they also needed to get out and run around, with some cuddly time in between.  Then, simply rinse and repeat!

As leaders, we may often think we know how to support our team. But an exercise like this one, repeated every six months or so, is often very illuminating! You may learn that the types of support your team needs is easier than you might suspect.

I’m curious – were you surprised by anything you learned after doing this exercise with your team?


When you’re ready to help your team work more collaboratively so they can have a larger impact, here are 3 ways I can help you:

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