Stay Lit: Leveraging Hope-centered Leadership to Prevent Burnout

January 30, 2023 | 907 Views

Stay Lit: Leveraging Hope-centered Leadership to Prevent Burnout

Donna Herbel, FMP, SPHR

Learning Strategist | Blue Phoenix Learning

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:

  1. 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

  2. Pathway – the ability to generate plausible routes toward achieving goals
    A Hope-centered Leader: Enkindles possibility and builds confidence in a path best-suited

  3. 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:

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:

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:

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:

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.”

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