Got any design leadership tips?

almost 5 years ago from Jordan Little, Design/Dev

  • Owen McFadzenOwen McFadzen, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

    It sounds very natural. Group development goes in stages and it is important that you as the leader, and the team, know that. In fact getting to stage IV takes at least 6 months even if you are using all the tricks in the book.

    I recently finished the first course of my MA at Hyper Island where we focused on leadership and team development. In that course a lot of focus was put on the value of feedback (giving & receiving) and reflection. Practicing these two skills made a huge difference in the way we, as a group, built trust and grew into a team. From what you are saying (that all the skills are there), building that trust and productivity is going to make a huge difference. Your role as a leader will transform from a director to a coach as they progress too.

    Reflection is a great way to build trust. A really simple way to start using it in a team is the first and last step of each day is a check in & check out as a group. You stand together and ask ask something simple:

    • “How are you feeling?"
    • “What are you going to do after work?"
    • “What is the one thing you are going to do today?".

    I know it sounds a little hippy, but it really helps everyone understand each other, open up and builds the team.

    Another, more impactful was is to take a moment at the beginning and the end of the day to sit down and get people to write down there reflections and then share them as a group. Some example probing questions can be:

    • "What happened yesterday/today/during … task that affected me?"
    • "How did I feel about it?"
    • "What did I learn about myself/others/the team?"
    • "How can I use these learnings"
    • "Reflecting on this, what is the one thing I will do differently"

    Sit everyone down and go through the reflection for a week, each morning. Ask 2-3 probe questions and give them 10min to write down there thoughts and then let everyone share them with the group. As you and the team start to reflect you go through what Hyper calls, “The well of knowledge” .

    • Repeat You look over what happened (the headlines of the day).
    • Then you refer to those, the information.
    • Then the review, is an analysis of that information.
    • Lastly is the reflection, how did it affect you?

    The reflection stage is done “talking from the ‘I’” ie. "I felt that...". Make sure you ask people, if they don't answer it them selves, How did that make *you** feel?.

    Now everyone is starting to grow and get a little group focus going, get some feedback going on. Note, I said feedback, not evaluation. The point is to learn about yourself and others, not to do a task differently or someones opinion. After a task we write on a post-it:

    • “To... , One thing I appreciate about you is…”
    • followed by “One thing I would like to see more of is...".

    The idea is to be constructive, build people up and in the right direction. The post-its are then given to the person receiving the feedback and read out aloud to them. Feedback is a gift, after all. If you need to give some difficult feedback use Marshall Rosenberg's nonviolent communication. Start with a neutral observation "During the meeting you interrupted me" then express your feelings "it made me feel worthless" followed by your needs "I need to feel my opinions are valued by you and the other members of the team" and finally you make the request "so I would like to ask you give me space and allow me to finish".

    Giving feedback is great but the way you receive it is also important. There are 5 steps to receiving feedback:

    1. Discard
    2. Defend
    3. Explain
    4. Understand
    5. Change / Reinforce or Remain

    The best advice I have here is to hold onto your feedback post-its and reflect on them later. They are a gift and offer insights into your own behaviour, see Juhari Window

    The Hyper Island Toolbox has lot’s of great resources, activities and tools for you to find what fits your needs and hopefully build an amazing team.

    *takes breath... Sorry for the long reply, but I hope someone can use the tips.

    1 point