Shall I trust my team that much?
As we were facing an issue and as I had let them handle it, after they declined my help, I wondered. And the answer that came up in this moment was scary to me. It was “maybe yes“. But answering this made me feel misaligned because, in my mind, the translation was “I must put more control on them, to ensure things are working better”.
However I know – by heart – it will be counter productive.
So now what?
I’ve investigated this topic a lot lately, through readings and trainings (Brené Brown & Simon Sinek are my best friends now). All of them tell us:
- To be willing to be vulnerable. Check.
- To create psychological safety. Check.
- To have difficult conversation. Check – maybe not the level I would expect but this is WIP.
In all this wisdom and practical guidance, I am still missing a thing: how to make sure the team uses trust and psychological safety wisely aka for the benefit of the goal we are aiming for.
It takes a lot of work to reach the self-security required to let go on control. If I start thinking they take advantage of it, then trust is gone and control is back. Obviously, I do not want to take this path.
Rules & Boundaries
I realized the answer might be with clearer boundaries, and clearly stated rules. I mean, as a student of Brooke Castillo, I had this teaching in front of me for a long time already. But sometimes, you must go through experience to really understand what it means.
What next? I will invite my team to identify the boundaries and the rules that we want to maintain, in order to keep it a high functioning team. We will define consequences if rules are not met, so people know what to expect.
Hopefully I know I can count on continuous improvement to help us figure out where we miss rules. We don”t know what we don’t know…
Another way is also to restate the goal and make sure they are still aligned with it. As I said earlier, if I want my team to perfom towards a goal, then it is my responsibility – with my product owner hat this time – to make it crystal clear to them.
Have you ever faced this challenge on your side? How did you handle it? As a coach or as a team leader?
Let me know in the comments below!