• emilyhawkins28

Creating a Brave Team

Creating a brave team

I remember standing in front of my team sharing various things with them about their roles, the company and even behavior I expected and looking out at a group of completely disengaged people.

After one such meeting one of my employees came to me and asked if we could do a round robin where each member talked about their current work.

I stupidly thought, okay, whatever. This won't change anything.

I was right. It changed EVERYTHING!

I want to layout how we did this because it created a richer learning environment that encouraged open debate and problem solving, creating a team of bravery.

Recipe for a brave team

Judgement Free Zone: Each member was given a chance to present in a comfortable environment of peers where there wasn't a judgment on their work product or decision making abilities.

Productive complaining is allowed: I gave the ground rules that inside the four walls of my office anyone could complain and swear about anything going on in or outside of the company but only five minutes of this behavior was allowed. After such time we had to move on to solutioning out the issue.

The boss cannot answer anything: Instead of trying to solve issues for my team, enabling learned helplessness I chose to ask probing questions that encouraged deeper thinking on the part of the person

This completely changed the dynamic of the team and increased learning as well since each person was encouraged to bring something they couldn’t figure out to the table. Other team members would jump in with an idea to create a solution.

Why do I call this a brave team? When you take away judgement, let people complain and solve their own problems you create a brave organization that is afraid to ask questions and find their own answers.


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