The Strategist

Stop controlling your team

02/22/2018 - 14:33

Micromanagement, the constant demand of unimaginable results, strict relations between the manager and employees. These principles turn a workplace into a hell for a specialist and his team.

Startup Stock Photos
Startup Stock Photos
The more experienced leader you become, the more self-organizing and self-reflexive the team will be. If you are unable to meet these requirements, the consequences will not too heavy. It's just that neither you nor the team will get the expected return. Let's see how to get rid of these bad habits and help the team to move to a new level of development.

Do not focus on results

Give the team enough opportunities so that people would come up with the best ideas and create the best product. As experienced coach, you only get only one vote in the team when it comes to specifying what it will create. Do not go down into this; you have a more important role.

Focus on how team members work together to help them improve the quality of their work - not only in the current situation, but also for all products that they will create together.

You can claim that you are unprejudiced if you are involved in processes without interfering with the decisions made by the team and its plans. This will allow the team members to actively join the work and bring their own results, help in achieving the goals you asked for.

Be a Mirror

Give people the opportunity to look at themselves from the outside without getting any assessment. Let them see themselves through the prism of your gaze. Just point out what you noticed and ask: "What do you think it means?" And then listen to the answers.

Control your speech and facial expression

Learn to speak without judging, and to interact without pressure. Be conscious not only about the tone of the conversation and the choice of words, but also about your facial expressions. If you behave like a judge, they will not be sincere with you. You do not get to the essence of what is really happening. Instead, people will say what you want to hear. Keep your sincerity during the discussion. Do not hide disappointment, sadness, joy and rejoicing, if you are sure that you are doing it for them, and not for yourself.

Let them fail

Of course, do not be idle when the team is moving to the abyss. But use the dozens of opportunities that arise in each sprint to allow them to fail.

Teams that fail and then recover together are much stronger and faster than those under guardianship. Team members can surprise you. What you saw as something harmful, in fact, can help them. Watch and wait.

Let there be silence

Learn to find comfort in silence. Do not fill it with yourself. Let other members of the team speak - they also want to talk.

They can say: "This is just such a way of working" or "it's normal to wait five days in such a situation". After hearing such statements, put them on public display. Ask: "Does this interfere with the performance of the work?" Or: "Do you have any obstacles to do it right now?" Be extravagant, large-scale and brave. Do not doubt that the team will let you know about the moment when you become too shocking. You cannot expect what they will tell you when you are not shocked enough. Let them hear your wild ideas so that they can question the assumptions that limit them.

Trust them

Most likely, you are not the best candidate for solving problems, for example, with the product that the team creates, or with how people work together. Every time before making a decision, watch the team first. Let them name the reason and what will be done to solve it.

If you diagnose the problem yourself and solve it, then you risk being on the wrong path. Worse even, you undermine the team's ability to solve everything on their own.

Be a sincere admirer of the team

Be a sincere admirer of the team, but exercise reasonable restraint: do not praise them for nothing or for the "good work that they did." Performance by itself does not determine the level of the team and does not make it magnificent. Only personal growth of each participant create amazing teams. Pay serious attention to this.

If any of the described ideas shock you, then, your command and administrative manners have not disappeared anywhere. This is normal, because getting rid of them takes time. Once you admot you have these bad habits, unobtrusively take matters into your own hands. Be also sure that this style is manifested not only externally, that is, in tyranny or loud shouts. To make sure that you got rid of it forever, look a little deeper. Most likely, it is still hiding somewhere.

based on "Coaching Agile Teams. A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition" by Lyssa Adkins

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