• Nick Metler

Is Quiet Quitting Your Chance to Create New Healthy Boundaries?

Quiet Quitting Team Cultures


Quiet quitting has taken the world by storm. The quick reactions show us more about our feelings toward others than the truth about quiet quitting.


Some people think it's a mirage. Others think the economy is falling apart.


It's more likely that quiet quitting is a symptom of larger problems with team cultures. In crises, it's more important to slow down and seek to understand than to speed up and leave your team in the dust. I know that's easier said than done. Supply chain troubles and turnover may fuel reactionary responses and make teams feel disengaged.


For a path forward, we must heed the great sage of the 90s, Vanilla Ice. Stop. Collaborate. Listen.


Stop


You've probably heard about "slowing down to speed up" as a tactic to gain momentum. It is easy to keep running along the hamster wheel of expectations without taking time to understand where you are. You're expending energy without making progress when you're running in circles. ​Pause long enough to evaluate whether your actions align with your purpose. That may be important to recognize so you can break free from the cycle.


Many organizations treat business this way. They're infinitely running toward an elusive destination. Employees feel that. They recognize the monotony. They see the situation as unchangeable. Proactive leaders may not be able to change the mindset of everyone on their team. However, they can stop. They can check-in. They can realign their team toward success.


Collaborate


Collaboration is underrepresented on most teams. As Dr. Fred Johnson mentioned at a recent Think Tank, we tend to mistake collaboration for "wasted idea moments" instead. Many leaders rarely utilize the power of collaboration. This underutilization comes from a lack of trust within a culture.


Teams don't just start at a perfect level of trust. Everyone brings something different to the table. Some come in naively. Others come to the table guarded. I tend to favor an intentional approach.


Building a culture of collaboration requires courage. The rhetoric around quiet quitting is a perfect opportunity to have the necessary conversations it takes to build healthy trust. Be prepared for an open and honest discussion. However, having difficult conversations that lead toward a heightened level of team trust will put your team on track for a more collaborative environment.


Listen


Listening has been all the rage since the dawn of time. I like to think I'm a good listener, but I'm starting to recognize my insufficiencies. When you meet someone for the first time, do you remember their name? Most people acknowledge that it's a struggle. Recently I met someone, and in the 10 seconds we spoke, their name was probably the only thing they mentioned to me. I walked off and was asked, "Who's that?" I grinned and replied I did not remember.


One of the seismic changes between generations in the workplace is the need and desire to feel heard. In some ways, I view this as the dignity of being heard. Old school leadership styles relied on command and control. It was far more about following a chain of command. Now, employees enter the workforce expecting a say in how businesses, teams, and leaders operate.


Listening to others restores engagement. We are more likely to forge trust when we lean in and listen to one another. We build a level of commitment that propels us through challenges with creative solutions. Listening is perhaps the most significant factor missing in the quiet quitting debate. A vast majority want to be heard, but conversations cannot happen if all we do is shout over one another. One side must listen while the other speaks. There will be an opportunity for the reverse to occur as well.


Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

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