I’ve recently come across a concept called the ” Challenge State” as part of a TED blog on being motivated at work. This struck a chord with me as it encapsulated many of the things I’ve discussed before; trust, motivation, empowerment.
The “challenge State” is a state of being that results in someone feeling dejected, dis-empowered, ignored – basically everything you don’t want your team to feel.
As leaders of teams it is vital to provide our teams with an environment where they feel valued and empowered. However I’d like to add to this thought with a discussion on body language and its use in the avoidance of the challenge state.
Whilst the words we use can have an impact, the more subliminal “words” of our body language can speak volumes. Closed body shapes, turning away from someone, not making eye contact. These all add up to a feeling of disinterest or apathy towards the person we are talking – even if that’s not our intention.
I’d therefore like you to consider your body language the next time you have to give bad news or refuse someones idea. If we can positively re-enforce someone’s work or their ideas with positive body language then this may avoid the challenge state and therefore leave that person feeling that their work and effort is still valued. Which in turn helps re-enforce that work is a good place to be.