Leading a Meeting with Data Kills Motivation

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Lead a meeting with data and you are sure to kill motivation.  Edwin Friedman talks about the importance of balancing data and emotion for leaders. “Data emphasizes weakness rather than strength.” p.273 Failure of Nerve

Just read this and see what emotions erupt inside you?

  • Dow Drops 200 points today due to housing starts slowing
  • Unemployment increases to 8.5% 
  • 2 out of 4 marriages end in divorce
  • We are at 25% of our goal
  • We have billed 100 hours this month
Leaders your team is sitting in YOUR meeting listening to YOU lead the discussion with this data and wondering when the meeting will end. You came to the team as an exceptional technician and now your team is uninspired, disengaged and looking for YOU, Mr. or Ms. Leader to inspire them.
People leave organizations because they focus only on the numbers. Check out this story from Goldman Sachs.
Am I asking you to stop using numbers in your meetings? No I am not. I am asking you to enhance your leadership and inspire your people.
Here are three suggestions:
1. Find out why your team shows up to work every day.  This will be revealing.  Send them the question in advance and have them all share this to start your meeting.  You may need to answer that for yourself prior to the meeting.
2.If the numbers are low, reflect on the times when they were high.  What were some of the greatest wins you had back then?
3. Even if you are anxious about those low numbers, it does NOT help for you to show it or say it.  In fact, it does quite the opposite and actually infects your people.
What have been examples of times when you were inspired someone’s leadership? What did they do to inspire you?