If you have been meeting with one of your teams, workgroups or committees for a while, there is a good chance the group has become weary and may also be experiencing burnout. This can be true even if you have had some great successes as a group! If you are having lower attendance than usual, people are not contributing during meetings like they used to or if you can look on their faces and see that they are distracted and not sure that this meeting is a good use of their time, this may be your reality. So what do you do? Join me this week as I highlight three things to do as an internal facilitator to help your group that may be weary or facing burnout.
- Pause. Rather than continuing to do what you have been doing and meeting as you have been meeting, take time to pause. Reflect. Look at your recent meeting attendance; consider your meeting purpose; and make some notes about your last few meetings and interactions with group members. Consider both verbal and non-verbal communication during those meetings and interactions with your key members.
- Assess. Put together a few questions and try to understand what may be going on with the group. These questions can simply be: What is working well with this group? What could be improved? What do you find beneficial about being part of the group? What would you recommend for the group moving forward? You can ask these via electronic survey (anonymous) or through key informant interviews (may want to have someone internal or external to the group). This is similar to last week’s blog related to lack of trust. Check out the “Assess the situation” from last week’s blog. Listen to what they say and what they share on the survey. Do members feel overwhelmed with their “paid” jobs and unable to contribute? Is this no longer a win-win situation and they don’t find as much value. Perhaps members don’t feel like their voice is being heard and they are overpowered by other group members. The more you can get an honest assessment of the group, the better you will be able to know how to move forward.
- Act. Review your notes from reflection; organize the responses from your surveys or key informant interviews; look for key themes; and take action. Have you been holding monthly meetings and it’s no longer feasible for your partners to participate that frequently? Have you been hosting all of your meetings in-person and you need to adjust to video chats or have a video option? Do you need to clarify your purpose and develop a new priority (priorities)? Do you need to redefine roles and responsibilities or recruit new members? Or perhaps, do you need to acknowledge that the purpose of this team has been fulfilled and it’s time to disband and focus on other areas? Listen to what you learned and take action!
So what about you? What have you done as a facilitator/leader when you are working with a group that has grown weary or is experiencing burnout?
If missed the Facebook live video related to this post, check it out here!
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