The sales team are bringing in leads, but nothing will come of them. People can’t be trusted to work at home, more gets done in the office. The intern got your Starbucks order wrong, you knew that would happen. You’d be better off getting rid of everyone and running this business alone.
Does that remind you of anyone?
Whether it’s you or someone around you, this kind of cynical attitude can often be due to built-up stress. Unless you’ve always been that miserable. But our guess is that your mindset is a result of everything that’s been thrown at you lately.
It’s not easy to put a brave face on in tough times, but you must remember that your team are looking to you for reassurance and guidance. Cynicism has no place in leadership and if you’re dealing with it, you will not be leading effectively.
So, what’s the cure? It all starts with you. You need to prioritise a period of self-care. And no, don’t roll your eyes at the idea of face masks and bubble baths. Real self-care is sleep, exercise, getting outdoors. It’s clearing your mind. It’s setting some boundaries. It’s turning notifications off. It’s laughing. It’s doing something selfless. Practising self-care is not a weakness.
Then, start practising gratitude. Look at all your successes rather than dwelling on your failures and do it with your team around you. If that feels difficult, discuss what’s gone wrong lately but take a positive spin on it and look for the learnings. How will these mistakes or challenges help you do better?
If it’s not you that’s the cynical one and you’re dealing with a cynical team member, it’s even more important to nip that in the bud. Cynical people believe nothing can change. They’re stubborn. We all know one!
The danger of cynicism is that it’s contagious. And it spreads quickly.
So, how can you try and eliminate cynicism within your team? Provide them with new experiences to build curiosity and creativity. Open their eyes to what they can achieve when plunged into the unknown and give them a rare opportunity to strengthen their bond.
We’ve delivered plenty of offsite experiential events for leadership teams (like this one), where they benefit from immersive learning out in nature. They’re usually up a mountain or somewhere equally chilly and challenging! Individuals within the teams learn so much about each other, and we learn loads from them, too. They come back with a fresh energy and focus on the future. And sometimes frost bite.