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Are you Supporting Your People?

Team Leads have additional responsibility in stewarding the environment that team members are operating in. This includes supporting each team member in being able to show up as their best selves in their roles. The time spent on this will pay back in dividends with better communication, more trust, higher engagement and thus higher outputs. Each time you catch yourself saying “I don’t have time for this” consider the cost of disengaged team members.

One-on-ones don’t have to be long or arduous… but a check-in with everyone on your team is critical to your team’s health.  During times like these, it’s especially important that you are having a quick one-on-one with each team member at least weekly. This quick check-in supports the connection your team feels, lets them know that they are important and provides an opportunity to ask questions.  If you are worried about the time commitment, it can take only 15 minutes. 

The goal of the time is to create space for your team member to share what is happening in their world. It is not a time for you to pursue your agenda.  The conversation can be as simple as:

Team Lead: Good morning Jason.  How is your day going so far?

Jason: Good, just sorting through this bug that I’m working on.

Team Lead: Ah – nice, so working on some bugs… What else is on your mind?

Jason: I’m worried about getting this done on time.

Team Lead: Right, the schedule is tight. So you’re nervous you won’t get your tasks done on time.  What else is on your mind?

Jason: I haven’t heard any updates on this project for a while. Is it still a thing?

Team Lead: We can dive in to that for sure, but before we do, anything else on your mind?

Jason: I am really having a hard time with communicating with Art.

Team Lead: So, you’ve got concerns about the schedule, questions about the project and some challenges with some relationships. How can I be most useful?

Jason: Are you worried about the schedule?

Team Lead: <conversation continues to get Jason what he needs> Does that get you what you need?

As wrapping up:

Team Lead: Is there anything else that I can be doing to support you in being successful working from home?

Jason: <valuable insight>

Team Lead: Thank you for sharing that. Let’s talk more about that in our next call and I’ll follow up to get more information for you.

Important points:

  1. Take notes – anything you say you will do, create an action in your task manager and be sure to follow up
  2. What is useful to your team member is what is important, it doesn’t matter what you want to talk about when they are needing support
  3. The first thing on their mind is not always the most important thing, before diving in to a topic, ask for more.

You can read more about the value of a 15-minute check in in this article.



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