Stay Lit: Leveraging Hope-centered Leadership to Prevent Burnout
January 30, 2023 | 486 Views
You’ve heard it said that Hope is not a strategy. That is absolutely true. Hope’s role is not in strategy, but in execution. I’ll explain.
In our industry, I think of Hope as the pilot light on a piece of gas equipment. If you turn your burner on, but the pilot light is not lit, nothing happens. So, as long as the pilot light is on, the magic happens. It’s important to protect that small but mighty element.
If Hope is the flame from which all other fires are lit, how do we use it to great effect; to produce positive and rapid results?
Delving into current Hope Theory by Charles Snyder, Hope (the noun) is Strong Hope – the perceived ability to produce pathways to achieve desired goals and to motivate oneself to use those pathways. Hope today is a subset of positive psychology, and is linked to trust, happiness, and a foundation of resilience.
Hope-centered leadership is the three-part combination of:
- Goals – the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result
A Hope-centered Leader: Sets intention on achievement and thriving and pushes boundaries
- Pathway – the ability to generate plausible routes toward achieving goals
A Hope-centered Leader: Enkindles possibility and builds confidence in a path best-suited
- Agency – the perceived ability to initiate and sustain the movement along a pathway
A Hope-centered Leader: Recovers clarity and restores energy
Strategies for the 4 Profiles of Hope
As stress and overwhelm have elevated in hospitality, we can turn them around by applying simple strategies to set expectations and encourage belief in achieving our collective goals.
DENIER – “I don’t talk about it. That word doesn’t fit.”
Strategy: Behave like you believe
With hope deniers, we can give them context into why the goals are meaningful, and how their individual work fits in:
- Apply the three principles: Goals, Pathway, Agency
- Ensure GOALS are meaningful, important, and have an individual focus
- Make the PATHWAY public
- Encourage and coach AGENCY and capacity
- Approach with belief in positive outcomes
REJECTOR – “The idea is interesting, but it is not for me.”
Strategy: Put it in a pretty frame
With hope rejectors, we can use a shift in our phrasing and vocabulary to reframe our efforts and modify mindsets:
- …YET (apply to the end of a sentence to focus back into possibility)
- …and therefore, I/we can… (use to reframe prior experience that didn’t work)
- ….provided that…. (acknowledge conditions to make it happen)
- I/we GET to… (instead of we HAVE to)
- …and so I/we choose… (we have the choice)
EMBRACER – “I apply hopefulness and optimism on purpose.”
Strategy: Give, Do, Get
With embracers of hope, we can capitalize on our to-do lists. This strategy is not about adding more items to our to-do list, but rather being intentional each day to build activities that keep hope front and center:
- Give: commit to give back to others today; the act of giving creates that “helper’s high”
- Do: commit to do an action today that advances my personal success
- Get: commit to refueling mentally and emotionally by soliciting support or information to keep your fire lit
CHAMPION – “I use the idea of hope to encourage perseverance.”
Strategy: Master the Champion Speech
We can all be champions of hope by using this very practical technique to encourage and refocus by reminding people of their greatness:
- Establish a code-word “I need a Champion Speech” to request words of encouragement when someone is overwhelmed.
- When this is requested, we answer: “You are a champion, and let me tell you why…”
The positive effects of Hope are documented. For those who say “We aren’t in the business of hope,” I say, “The business of people IS the business of hope.” For those who say “Hope is too abstract to be meaningful,” I invite you to realize that “Hope is too powerful to be ignored.”