Stuck in a Rut? 7 Questions to Inspire New Thinking on Your Team

Dec 01, 2022 3 Min Read
Tired, uninspired team members

Vector image is from by @macrovector.

Help Your Team Get Unstuck By Showing Up a Bit More Curious

It’s a strange and ironic phenomenon. Despite all the change going on, have you noticed your team sometimes gets stuck in a rut of uninspiring routines?

It’s easy to hunker down and do things the old way, particularly when so much else is changing. But what if the old habits, make it even more tricky to thrive in the midst of change?

For example, your tried and true approach to one-on-ones may feel comfortable and familiar… after all, that’s one less thing to think about. But, is it giving your team what they need most, now?

Or, your pivot to virtual sales calls, worked well when your customers were all working from home. Sure, they’re more efficient, but what are your customers yearning for now?

In our research for Courageous Cultures, 67% said their manager operates under the notion “this is the way we’ve always done it.” And it’s not just managers who can get stuck in a rut. It’s easier for your team to keep thinking and doing things the way that’s worked before.

If you want your team to thrive in the midst of all this change, ask some courageous questions to show up just a bit more curious about potential ruts, and how to get out of them.

Courageous questions are specific, vulnerable questions that get right to the root of the matter. Courageous questions help eliminate FOSU (fear of speaking up) and create the psychological safety your employees need to speak up and ask for what they need.

7 Courageous Questions Help Your Team Get Unstuck

1. Is there any aspect of your work where you feel stuck in a rut? What do you wish you could do instead?

2. What should we say “no” to, in order to free up time to focus on our most strategic priorities? 

3. If you could design our staff meeting from scratch, what would you do differently?

4. What are we spending a lot of time on (e.g. reports, communication, analysis) that no one would miss if we stopped?

5. How do you think we could make things a bit more fun around here? What are one or two specific ideas to make that happen?

6. What’s one strength or talent you feel is being underutilised in your work? What ideas do you have for how we could better leverage that strength?

7. What’s one suggestion you have for making this coming year remarkable? What must we do differently?

Read More: 7 Powerful Ways to Get Out Of A Rut

One way to get started is to share this article at an upcoming team meeting. Invite team members to consider which of these questions they think are most important to answer. Of course, you can also invite them to ask their own “let’s get out of a rut” courageous questions as well.

For example, “What’s the most important question we should be asking ourselves right now? Why?”

You may like this: If You're Stuck In A Rut, Look Around You!

Of course, asking questions is only the beginning. Be sure to “Respond with Regard” and help the team identify one or two doable I.D.E.A.s (Interesting, Doable, Engaging,Actions) that would make the biggest impact.

This article was originally published on Let’s Grow Leaders.



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Tags: Team Leadership


Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick, and the author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers and Customer Advocates.


David Dye helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results. He’s the President of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. He’s the author of several books including Courageous Cultures and is the host of the popular podcast Leadership without Losing Your Soul.


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