TEAM LEADER: DO YOUR COLLABORATORS FEEL AT EASE TO SPEAK THEIR MINDS?

If  your answer is “yes”. Great! This is an important asset in high performing teams. Do verify anyway that this is so. Could you be surrounded by “yes, boss” people?

If you say “sometimes” or “I don’t really know”, and this is the most common answer among managers, we suggest you check it ASAP and follow the suggestions below. Hidden information due to lack of trust will not allow you to efficiently control processes or relationships in your team.

If you reply “no” surely you are thinking of doing something about it right away. It is too important to leave it for tomorrow. Your team’s trust to speak their minds in front of you is one of the most valuable ways to understand whole situation, strategies and real feelings  in your team. Read the following suggestions and apply them all!

How to make it easier for your collaborators to say what they really think in front of you?

  1. DIY! By being a model and talking as sincerely as possible you will be a model for the team. Use the best communication skills possible, though. Speaking sincerely in a non appropriate manner may be perceived as aggressive.  Use constructive words, verify effects and talk thinking about the effect it will have in others.
  2. Invite tour collaborators to honestly comment how they perceive the project, progress , the last meeting or how you delivered a speech. Ask questions, and more questions with the purpose of knowing more with no judgment. Be brave!
  3. Manage your reaction when you hear something you do not like or disagree with. Perhaps your collaborators will tell you things that you consider unfair. It may irritate you the way they say it. In any case, manage your impatience and turn it into interest. It is quite possible that there is some truth in what you hear. Do not waste this opportunity.
  4. Train yourself and train your collaborators in the art of giving and receiving feedback.  Learn how to feedforward, rather. It is essential in teams to know how to disagree without judging or blaming the person and focusing on the matter to resolve.

None of these suggestions are easy to apply when the emotions are too loose or too concealed.  Practice them in neutral moments or uncomplicated processes escalating to more demanding situations. It is OK to be emotional and take into account other people’s emotional reactions as long as they are geared to contribute to resolve the situation.

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