Human Factors in Engineering

VSTH14 Cracking the Code of Team Empowerment: Unraveling the Mystery of Learned Helplessness


2:30pm - 3:45pm

Level: Introductory

Sara Caldwell

Business Agility Coach

As a leader, you strive to create an environment of empowerment, safety, and ownership for your talented and experienced technologists. However, you've noticed a concerning pattern - despite their desires to take charge, they seem hesitant to do so. It's like there are unseen obstacles preventing them from seizing the reins you offer.

This phenomenon might be attributed to learned helplessness, where team members find it challenging to discover solutions to difficult situations, even when solutions are within reach. Repeated exposure to stress without finding a way out can lead to a belief that nothing can change, resulting in a sense of helplessness.

In this engaging session, we will explore the concept of learned helplessness and its impact on your team. We will delve into the reasons behind its occurrence and discuss actionable strategies to help your team overcome it.

You will learn:

  • Recognize when your team is struggling with "learned helplessness"
  • List three ways to manage learned helplessness on your team
  • Feel more comfortable how to talk about learned helplessness