I'm wondering, do you do things to make sure that your team engages with each other?
What does that mean? It means that they ask each other for help, they address concerns with each other, they openly recognize and celebrate each other, they sit together and work through problems and next steps before coming to see you? If they see someone struggling, they offer to help. If they see someone is happy or excited, they ask about what is making them smile.
Does your team do that? If not, why not? Is it you?
Do you point them back to each other when they approach you to solve something?
When you see someone having trouble, do you ask them what is happening and pull others in to assist (and then walk away)?
Do you encourage them to get together as a team and work through hurdles and problems in order to solve them?
Do you tell them that they don't need to come to you for things they can resolve on their own? And then do you thank them for doing so or if it goes horribly wrong, have a group
POSITIVE lessons learned session, so they are better prepared for next time?
Sometimes you need to force the situation and you may have to model how to communicate in a way so people's points can be taken on board, but there is no need for you to control everything.......and here is why:
Your team will build a strong bond, which means they will pick each other up and not let each other fail
Having a communal mindset means happiness and productivity and happiness will increase
They build trust and lose fear-induced behaviors such as finger-pointing or shame if they need assistance
They will be more open and recognize problems quicker instead of trying to hide from each other
Those problems will be resolved at a much quicker pace and most likely be done before anything becomes a major issue
Frees you up as a manager to work on more strategic initiatives, address major problems or issues or have the time to really engage with each individual in a way that has value and builds trust.
If you want a productive and highly engaged team, get out of the way and quit solving every little thing. Point them back towards each other.
Be a Connected Leader!!
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(Original Post Date: 4/17/2019)