Hi. This post is a follow up to yesterday’s article on the collective intelligence brainstorming to Keep Team Spirit with Remote Work.
Effective Collective Intelligence Process
There is a process to make collective intelligence brainstorming EFFECTIVE! Ours includes
- Getting into a mindset of solution-finding (vs. blame or analysis). The focus is the future and what we can do. Options and actions.
- Specifying the challenge to overcome. Keeping team spirit is great…and a vast topic. So we focused on the actual situation of one gentleman and how his current approach led to frustrations and that he wanted to try something new.
- We brainstormed solutions and opted to focus on four “families” of new ideas
- Empathy building
- Smooth organization – (This is where yesterday’s post paused…)
- Building engagement – (…and here we resume)
- Assuring performance
- Choosing an Action Plan. This process is FYA (vs. FYI). For Your ACTION. To move forward, take a step. Then another.
- Follow through. Research has shown that progress ranks among the top motivators. Progress can be measured ONLY when there is a before and an after. We note “before” because that’s when we feel the pain. When our solution works…too often we move onto the next challenge before noticing how we successfully overcame an obstacle. Follow through helps measure progress.
- Denise’s Action Plan & Commitment to YOU. (Read on 😍)
In times of crisis, the need is leadership. YOU!
Your presence is the glue that will keep the team together.
What to share during these moments of contact?
To inspire your team with a clear, purpose-filled goal.
How does their work fit into the big picture of your company? How will their sacrifice contribute to benefiting others during the crisis at hand?
Our young employees, in particular, seek purpose-driven careers. NOW is the time to step up.
Additionally, team members KNOW challenges exist. They want authenticity on your part and the invitation to contribute to finding a solution.
Which leads to the next way to connect:
To listen to your team.
Sounds easy? It’s tough! Many of us have been trained in a let-me-fix-it mentality that we don’t even realize we enter “fixing mode”!
Here were some questions raised that help leaders listen:
- “What went well yesterday? What went less well? What should we change?”
- “On a scale of 1 to 10, how did we do on ______ (transitioning to remote work)? What could we do to move from a 6 (for example) to a 7?”
Sustainable businesses perform. Period.
Connecting is nice, but not at the cost of quality. For the benefit of excellence!
Here were three related suggestions to maintain performance.
To, collectively, make the list of doable tasks needed to reach specific goals.
What’s so unique about this? The collective element. We are all facing novel dilemmas. It is unreasonable to assume that the boss knows best. Each of us only glimpses a limited perspective. We cover more bases and avoid more details from falling through the cracks through a collective effort to break down goals into doable tasks.
To translate tasks into deliverables.
In the office we can walk by the desk and see progress. Not so with remote. So, how to assuage the need for some control on account of the boss with the need for the team mate’s flexibility? Deliverables can be measured. Either they are completed or not.
Instead of “Work on ______,” both the leader and the team member will benefit from, “I need X. When can you get it to me?”
Once the tasks are listed, to invite the team to choose their responsibility.
There will be “fun jobs” and more tedious ones. No employee enjoys being assigned the latter…even though they all realize the task needs to be completed.
It’s highly effective to place the list in front of all and to wait. “These jobs need to be done. Who will do what?”
Example at work
This worked with a start-up developper team during one of my trainings. One person regularly complained of having to do work she did not enjoy. Once she had mastered the basics, she should not have to be assigned those more mundane roles. She had gained a reputation as a complainer.
In a collective solution-finding, she chose the option to list tasks and for each to volunteer for the work for which they were skilled. Both she and her colleagues realized they could step up . She could improve her attitude. They could also share the load of more basic tasks. They could also all take a step back and consider how to minimize the repetitive work.
Example at home
During one vacation my family of four sons was joined by my brother’s family with triplet boys.
7 boys under 10! That’s a lot of cleaning, clearing up, etc.
We made a list of special chores:
- vacuuming under the table after every meal
- putting away shoes in the front hallway so that we don’t trip
- helping out for 10 minutes for “whatever needs to be done”
I had to keep myself from smirking when these tykes called out, “I WANT vacuuming!”
Just do it – Planning Action
Having established several viable options to keep team spirit with remote work, we turned back to our gentleman leader who had presented his situation.
What will you choose to put into action?
He chose two solutions (they both happen to be from yesterday’s post!)
- To share videos of their workspace and thus to build empathy
- To batch information and thus to reduce time spent in responding to each other and to increase time in value-added contribution
People work on what gets measured. Follow through does that. We set a time to reconnect.
Denise’s Action Plan & Commitment
As of today, I am launching #ResilienceBuilders.
Every day, before 6:30 pm
Find it on the Facebook group #SafePlaceToTalkAboutWork
Share your success of a tough job well done. 😨🙃😀😂!!!!