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Challenging Scenario:
Member Is Not Leaning In



Your Circle has been meeting for some time. One member has asked for help with a career situation and the Circle has encouraged her to take action, helping her work through her options and decide what she wants to do. After several more months, it becomes clear that the member has not taken the steps she said she would and the situation is the same. The group is frustrated with her lack of action and is tired of hearing the same story (or a version of it) over and over. 


What you can do

In advance: At Circle kickoff, include a Circle norm that everyone commits to making changes in their life. Lean In Circles are about making forward progress and improving our lives. We all acknowledge that this may be uncomfortable but we are willing to do the work. We commit to only bringing situations to the Circle that we are ready and willing to take action to resolve.

As it’s happening: Acknowledge small steps. Any forward progress counts. If there has been no progress, ask why.

  • “You mentioned a similar situation last time and you planned to tackle it this way. Why do you think that hasn’t happened yet? How can we help?
  • “Do you still want to tackle the situation the way you planned?”

If it keeps happening: Time for a private conversation—call or meet her outside a Circle meeting. Ask if the Circle is meeting her needs. Is the Circle helping her make the progress she was hoping for? It seems like this situation has been one she’s been wanting to tackle for a long time, but she’s not following through on the steps she committed to put into action. Ask her why. Explain that taking risks is a big part of Lean In. If she’s not ready to take a risk in that area, maybe she could bring it to the Circle later.