What To Do When Your Team Is Stretched Too Thin

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I may hit a nerve with some of you in this post, but I hope you’ll be open to what I have to say.

These days I often hear this refrain from my clients: “I’m swamped! My team and I are stretched too thin! We’re so resource-constrained. If I only had more resources….”

You may even have said this sometimes and I get that this is the reality for many of you. But hasn’t it been this way for a while? And do you really think it’s going to be different in the future?

The world is moving more quickly than ever and there are increasing demands on you and your team. As we move into a more “normal” post-pandemic environment, the demands are only going to escalate.

While you should always advocate for more resources to enable you and your team to achieve expectations, your colleagues don’t want to hear this continuing refrain from you. It’s not helpful. It only serves to reinforce the perception that you haven’t got things under control and are barely holding on. They want solutions, not complaints.

So what can you do when your team is stretched too thin?

Consider asking questions like:

  • What do we need to achieve our goals?
  • What do we already have?
  • What are other ways these talents can be used?

You likely already try to leverage the strengths and assets of your team. But have you considered what skills they could be using that they currently aren’t? You can help them see what else they can achieve by encouraging them to broaden their strengths and expand their true capabilities. You can guide them to move beyond what they’ve previously done to what they can do – now.

This is what possibility thinking is all about. You’re not going to fix the resource issue, but you can amplify the work – and impact – of your team.

By doing so, you are not only connecting your team with their strengths, but you are also helping them see their gifts in a different way. You’ll enable them to expand on what they already do well and become more confident and self-sufficient in the future.

Roberta A. LaPorte, Organizational Consultant

After spending 25 years leading Fortune 50 organizations and technology start-ups, Bobbie draws on positive psychology and her experience as a six-time Ironman triathlons finisher to help organizations navigate uncertainty and get ready for anything. Learn more »



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