Getting Out Of Your Teams Way

I just had the best experience.

A team without buy-in

I’m currently coaching a project along w/ fellow ThoughtWorker, Zak Tamsen.
It’s still pretty early, just a couple week long iterations into it. The
problem that we were having was lack of buy in from the team. It’s probably
our own fault for not setting stuff up at the start of the project, but it
felt very much like we were telling a team of 8 people what to do (write tests,
pair, do this, do that), and they were saying back, ‘No, we don’t wanna’.
The harder we tried to fix it, the more it felt like we were playing Mommy to
the team.

Then we left for a few days which included our IPM.

The tipping point

When we came back it was fixed. In our absence, the leaders of the team had stepped
up to lead the team. They had run the IPM, they had had meetings about how to
get the team on board, they had started taking what had been our responsibility
on themselves. Now instead of 2 outside !ThoughtWorkers trying to “convert” 8
people, we now have an increasingly cohesive team where 5 people have bought in
and assumed leadership roles.

Now we had talked to the leaders of the team to try to make this happen before,
but with us there, they had been perfectly comfortable to sit back and let us drive.
It was the act of us getting out of the way that made them step up. If
a system CAN heal itself, it’s important to let it heal itself – TheSecretsOfConsulting.

As a coach, I should be trying to teach my team how to
fish, not treating them to the fish that I can catch.

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