Sustained survival mode can shift anyone’s creativity and drive into neutral. To flip off fatigue and move forward when others are stagnant, tune into purpose and realistic goal setting.  Here’s how to make the S.W.I.T.C.H out of survival mode:

S – See what is working. Moving from a day-to-day approach to our next normal is daunting. Instead of allowing the enormity of tasks paralyze you, observe what is working right now.  Write down some small tweaks that can be made to expand and improve those processes, products, and services that are moving in a positive direction.

W – Wonder about the greatest possible outcome of each task. Juliet Funt calls this approach laddering up. When confronted with something you aren’t wild about doing, ask yourself, “What is the best possible outcome of that?”   

  • Hypothetical example:  Wearing a mask at work. 
  • What is the greatest possible outcome of that? You protect yourself, your colleagues, and your business attracts customers who are highly conscious about their safety in public places. 
  • What is the greatest possible outcome of that? You save those customers time and worry and provide access to something that positively impacts their life.   
  • What is the greatest possible outcome of that? The positive impact of that product or service may shift someone out of survival mode for the first time in months.

I – Insert Incremental goals. For those small tweaks to the processes, products, and services that are working – set one or two small goals to put incremental changes into action. How can you gain one more customer? What is one step you can take to deliver a service just a little better? Consider what new markets or customer options have developed while we have been in our “survival setting.”  What is one way to build on those markets or options for future benefit?

T – Take stock. Take the time to write down what has been accomplished and overcome in the last several months. The list will be long and is guaranteed to switch your team from stagnation to inspiration. 

C – Connect with others.  When possible, find your way out of zoom rooms and make a connection with a colleague or trusted mentor – in person. You’ll find strength and energy in strategizing with others who understand our challenges and view things from a different perspective. 

H – Hurry. When setting realistic, incremental goals, set a quick timeline so you can experience immediate results. Then set more short goals and claim your victory by achieving sustained success. 

Switching out of survival mode may be easier than you think.  

 “Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – St. Francis of Assisi

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