Episode 56: Letting the Team in on the ProblemJan 24, 2023
If you're facing a conundrum, when do you hold that close to protect the team from the complexity of it all and when do you bring in the team on the conundrum because they can help or they just really need to know because it will affect them?
That’s our big question today. Let’s listen in on this leader’s question:
“We're facing a difficult situation and I'm not exactly sure the best step forward. Should I bring the team in on the situation? If so, what is the best way to do that?”
When do you Bring Them In?
WHEN THE STEP FORWARD IS UNCLEAR: Involve others. It might be your team – but it could also be your board, a coach or mentor, a spiritual advisor, a networking group.
WHEN CONSEQUENCES IMPACT THE TEAM: The consequences of moving forward OR even of not moving forward will impact the team - a role, relationships or responsibilities.
WHEN YOUR TEAM HAS THE EXPERTISE: Maybe they have information because of their role. Maybe you’ve experienced their wisdom in previous situations. Maybe they have resources or know someone outside the organization who can offer expert advice.
How Do You Bring Them In?
Quick answer … give them the simplest true thing and then add in the complexity.
Verbalizing and acknowledging how they might feel or the potential impact or possible risks shows that you’re concerned about them. They matter and their emotional and psychological needs are in your view.
You’ll want to remind them of the facts, figures, timelines and plans for the situation. Things like:
- Remind of their job security
- Give financial data to demonstrate stability
- Share the plan for how to deal with the situation
Think about what your team will need to know that you’ve got this thing and you’ll lead them through.
Offering hope is painting a picture of the future that can pull people forward. Keeps them from getting stuck or afraid. You want your hope to be somewhat realistic. If it’s too “pie in the sky” it can have a counter effect, but a realistic hope can be a powerful motivator that can help your team bring their best selves to the situation.
There is a daily discipline of building trust. Bank it up before the problem ever begins is going to help you deliver the message well and will carry you even if you don’t. It will also help reinforce everything you do as you show concern, and offer stability and hope.
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