Y’know those moments when you can feel your mood change, like the changing of the tide?  I’ve not been sad, but I’m not overly happy either, not as fire filled as I normally am.  I’m feeling my tide change and its a welcome opportunity to see the sunlight. 
I don’t know if its the bitter cold we are experiencing, the new year, or just the rhythm of life.  Uninspired, that’s it, that’s what it is…a willingness to sleep, watch TV and just be alone.  Hibernate?  An uninspired hibernation. 
So what do I do?  How do I encourage my own tide to change and my own outlook to be brighter.  Well, what I do is some self care.  I do what I think will make me feel better and sometimes that is an uninspired hibernation.  I wonder if its just my brain and my body saying, slow down, recharge and then get back at it.   That’s what it feels like. 
The holidays always seem to beat me up a bit, particularly as I grow older and take on more responsibility for meals and kids and gifts etc.  It kind of sucks the fun out of the idea of a holiday, and honestly is something I look to survive.  I don’t mean that in a depressive sense, rather acknowledging an intense schedule that I have to accomplish.  It was a big year for me and I think I just need some time to hide. 
I recently told a friend of mine who was reeling from some challenging news and wondering how she had not seen it coming – ‘that’s the way it should be, if we knew all the dark in our lives it would dampen all the light.”  So in that vein, maybe my grey is to enhance my light?
This makes me think about managing a team.  Specifically, it makes me think back and wonder if there were times my team was in a grey area and I missed it, labelling them as unmotivated or dissatisfied.  Or simply challenging them to feel better!  Make a choice to be happy!  C’mon, join the game!  You know, we’ve all had people do that.  But it doesn’t work, not for me anyway.  Instead I just secretly, or in some cases not so secretly, hated them.
Leadership – ‘pretty is what pretty does’, so you are what your actions say not just your words.  And if you have a team member that is in what you believe to be an uninspired hibernation, what can you do?  Here is what would have worked for me; address it with me privately, ask from a place of concern and care, don’t make fun of me, don’t belittle me, don’t make it seem like I should just ‘snap out of it’, don’t push me and do not talk about it with other people. 
Do use my name when you speak to me, do ask what I need or want, do give me space if I ask for it, do check in with me.  I assure you my reaction would have been one of respect, increased loyalty and a feeling of safety. 
Here’s my point, its important to address a change in behaviour in your team in a kind, consistent, caring and mature way.  Not by saying…’oooh who peed in her shreddies’ or other not so nice gestures about women’s cycles. 
I think its important to notice the grey, not to make it into the dark if its not, but acknowledge it.  It will help your team understand that you are paying attention and that they matter to you, the roll-off effect of caring for your team will show more loyalty and harder work.  Knowing that we matter is a fundamental human need. 
Showing that you care makes you a better leader not a weaker person. Let me say it again, showing that you notice behaviours, take the time to address them and show that you care is a sign of a good leader.  Not to mention a good person.   
So pay attention and see how they respond.  I’d be interested in your results. 
And from this side of the Arctic, things are looking up! 
Happy Monday everybody.