Storming Agile Teams: Building a Path of T.R.U.S.T
Three weeks ago I’ve shared with you the first section of the Storming Agile Teams worbook called “Our Role & Multi-dimensional Storming Challenge“. In today’s article, you are about to read about the main techniques that I use to help groups willing to become Agile teams, to build a successful path of T.R.U.S.T
Note: This article is part of the content of my second workbook of the “Agile Teams from Forming to Perfoming series” titled “Storming Agile Teams“.
When building a path of TRUST with a team, what I’ve observed generally is that people needs to feel listened, included and considered part of the whole to have them collaborating effectively.
The Human Being is First
Once I have the opportunity to work with a group of people that are doing their best to become a team with a common purpose, before working with the group as a whole, I’m going to put my efforts and energy into establishing a strong connection with the human being behind the group member.
My reasoning is simple:
If there is no individual connection, based on a one on one strong relationship of trust
how am I going to do to help the group to trust each other, if don’t build a relationship of trust with each one of them first?
Well, you got it. I use to spending the first 2 weeks after having joined a group, meeting each group member individually for at least half an hour, to get connected and know more about each other.
What do I focus on during my One on One sessions?
I ask questions and listen actively to:
- Get to know more about the person. I would ask questions like, would you mind sharing your story with me?
- Understand its view of the group. For example, how do you perceive the group/team is doing?
- Understand its role within the group/team. For example: what role do you play within the team?,
- Understand its relationship with management and the company: For example, what do you think about management? how is that working from your point of view?
- Get a better picture about how the person’s level of engagement and motivation about the group and the organization. For example, what motivates you to come to work? what do like about being part of the group/team/organization?
- Validate if the person is willing to take actions to help the group/team improve. I ask for example, what do you think needs some improvement in the group/team? what do you want to do to help the group/team improve that?
- Validate the level of the persons curiosity and openness to get to know more about me. So before finishing the session, I ask if he/she has some questions/curiosities about me, and I answer the questions briefly.
- Show gratefulness and start building the bond. I thank the person for having allowed me to get to know more about him/her.
- Try to understand the value of the meeting to the person, by asking about if there is some interest to do it again.
In parallel, it’s crucial to continue collaborating and create moments for the team to continue building Trust. A great way to do that is through
Rely on each other
Further than that, I truly believe that installing common sense should be our MOTTO. Guiding individuals, teams and organizations to understand that doing and being agile means to use common sense at every single step of the way.
I also believe in the benefits of connecting people through thoughtful and genuine collaboration, as our main purpose when playing the continuous improvement agent role. But please, don’t get me wrong by thinking that these is an easy task to accomplish, even with practice it might be hard to apply everyone’s common sense to any situation, especially when the only authority you would have over people, comes from your ability to influence their way of seeing live with a different perspective and help them embrace change as part of their journey.
But let’s face it, it is a huge challenge, to lead by example and be there trying to inspire others to inspect and adapt, it requires courage, self-awareness, humbleness, love and hope that the best will come if we do it together but it’s so great seeing people’s faces illuminating after an AHA moment has made a click on their minds, that the effort worth giving it a try.
Each team’s path is unique
The Storming Phase of a team’s development journey, has a special characteristic: it could be the most terrifying mirror that you have ever seeing ever. So, you should always be aware of that, to stay at step ahead of every single situation. Remember that the team is going through conflicts that could be causing people’s pain, suffering and stress, so our role is crucial to create the conditions to help the team ill as soon as possible.
What I think matters the most, is that you pay attention to your feelings and emotions first, before jumping into any intervention possible with the team, because that would help you raise self-awareness and allow you to raise your self-control levels.
Make Success Visible
It’s also our job to manage conflicts within the team and mentor them, the team’s supervisor(s), stakeholder(s) and the organization too, about dealing with conflicts in a constructive way.It’s also our responsibility to help the team and its entourage to build real T.R.U.S.T.
Whatever we do when building a team, try as much as you can to do it together. If the team experience win or lost, live it together. It’s crazy important during this stage of the team’s development journey, to build up upon learning moments and serve as the glue to connect team members through emotional situations. Encourage togetherness, invite people to decide, think and collaborate to solve problems together as much as you can.
That’s what I think our role is in the team’s transformation process, so remember that we are at heart of it, and yes, it’s up to us to make the difference and change the world, one team, one collaboration at a time.
Something resonates with you?
Then I’ll give you two options to help you take action:
- Tell me what’s your view of our role and your comment might be considered as part of the final version of the worbook.
- Get your workbook Pre-Ordered here, I’ll do my best to keep writing often and releasing sections of the workbook iteratively during 2018. Also, I’ll keep you informed about how the workbook is progressing until is done, what do you think?
Thank you for being there for me, for supporting my journey in many ways, and for making me a better human being.
All the best wishes,
- Michael Norton,One on One meetings, https://dzone.com/articles/one-one-meetings
- Jesus Mendez, Forming Agile Teams, http://www.jesusmendez.ca/books/forming_agile_teams