Today I’ll share with you 3 things which will help you build an engaged team. A team that executes and hits business goals even when you're not pushing everyone all the time.
Nothing gets done unless you chase your team, reminding of deadlines, and asking for updates?
Do you feel you're pushing a rock up a hill and you’re doing it alone?
Some days you feel like a kindergarten teacher, NOT a manager of professional adults?
There’s a different way.
High-performing team on which everyone takes ownership, and pushes forward aren't a fairytale. They exists outside social media and Medium posts. I promise.
Your team can become a high-performing team which you’ll have fun leading.
Lesser teams have turned around.
Pursuing this will upgrade you as a manager, professional and you’ll have fun!
Life's too short to work on a shitty team! Build a great team.
3 things that will help build a high-performing team, and make you enjoy your role as manager.
Clarity - What are we REALLY trying to do here?
Make sure all team members are clear about:
- What are we trying to accomplish? At least for the near term (up to 1 month away).
- By when? (Timeline).
- What’s the reason this is important? What are the implications of having a good (or bad) launch experience for the client?
- How this ties to the team's day-to-day and how this ties to the projects they’re working on.
Don’t just present them with the info. Talk with them about it.
Have the team tell you what they understood, how this impacts their actions and day-to-day.
Without them “reading back”, you’re at risk of mis-communication. Hearing it in their words will help you tweak and adjust until you're all aligned.
Once everyone is aligned people can to make some decisions without calling you. They know the end goal, so they'll use it to make decisions. You’ll have to help them by asking “What do you think we should do?” (and keep quiet so they can answer).
Keep in mind this takes a few weeks, so be patient and be ready to do this over and over. If the team isn't making of you about it, you haven't done it enough.
What do you intend to do?
People are 100x more engaged when they build their ideas. It WAY more fun than working on someone else’s ideas.
Get the team working on their ideas how to reach your goals.
- You: Jim, our goal is to ship this within two weeks. Do you have any questions or thoughts about this?”
- Answer and clarify any questions and issues Jim raises.
- "I’d like you to lead this project. Outline a plan how you intend to accomplish this, so we can discuss it before you start executing."
- You’re the lead, but it doesn’t mean you’re alone! Make sure to get opinions from others.
- Here’s an example of a plan I created for a past project you can use as a template. It’s NOT great, so feel free to throw it away.
- Discuss and review the plan with Jim. Adapt as needed.
- Great work Jim! Are you ready to get this done? Let’s go!
Jim will be engaged. since he’s building his idea. He created the plan, so you’re sure he knows what he’s doing and that there’s no mis-communication.
This is one of those things that once they catch are hard for the team to go backwards. People love it!
Shift your team from “working hands” to engaged thinkers and doers
This will require you to be open about the fact you’re not happy with the way the team is operating. You’ll have to give up some control, which is a scary thing for managers… But trust me, it’ll pay you back in spades!
Start conversations with team members you trust and value their opinions. Slowly work your way up to an open team conversation with this framing:
“The way we’re operating isn’t working well. We’re not hitting goals It’s not sustainable and we’re not having fun. Would you like to change this and have a say in how our team operates?”
This opens up a whole discussion on what can be done better, what we should stop doing etc.
Arrive at this discussion prepared!
Educate yourself before the discussion. On different operating methods. What team members like and don't like? Suggestions for moving forward, etc.
Having this discussion when you're not prepared is a recipe for BIG mess.
This type of discussion shouldn’t be a one time thing. Teams should talk about the way they work. Have clear action items with due dates and owners following this talk. If all the action items are on you, you missed the goal.
I work with managers to turn their teams into high-performance teams.
A low performing and disengaged team can start trending upwards within weeks.
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