Why can't my team just get on with it? Why can't I just get on with it? Why do I need to check every decision I make? Why does my team have to check with me about everything? I can't rock the boat. Everything takes so long here.
Any of this sound familiar? Sounds a bit like you are in a parent/child relationship with your teams.
Over the last couple of years I have been living a portfolio career. The adventure of the gig economy - or really, just going solo! I have been able try different ways of working and experience many different approaches to work - which will always come in use for whatever the future holds!
I have learnt how businesses operate - both large and small, new and established. Worked with people at various stages of their career - from well established, to changing or starting out. All have taught me something and it has been liberating being open to learning, as well as imparting a few wisdoms of my own!
An area that I have become a little evangelical about is how to engage your people to be adults at work. How to break from a parent/child relationship and take more individual responsibility. And for leaders to want, encourage and make this happen.
I was introduced to this thinking from the rather inspiring Carrie Bedingfield. I stumbled across her via twitter and some thought provoking posts for 50th Generation, a purpose based startup accelerator. Carrie is one of those people who wears lots of hats, is always learning, doing and creating. She coined a way of engaging people with Clean Comms.
The premise of Clean Comms is a way of communicating and being at work that is human, authentic, creative. To achieve it means shaking off the structures of parent/child into one where individuals take more responsibility for what is theirs - and the key - organisations empower and trust people for this to happen.
How we communicate at work and having a shift to adult to adult comms is a fundamental change to how we relate to each other. It requires ego to be put aside and honesty in all your dealings. The outcome is everyone having an individual responsibility for success at work - and knowing what is theirs to own, not simple compliance. Some tips to be more adult in how you communicate at work:
To put a lack of adult into a current example - I do wonder if the, now infamous, Pepsi ad was a result of 'group think'. Was anyone empowered to ask why, to question if this was the right approach. Or are many people now saying they thought it was wrong - but never said it because they didn't want to stand out or be shot down. Was the creative even challenged or did everyone just get into a cycle of agreement?
I'm sure we all have lots of examples where we felt something in our gut wasn't right, but didn't feel we could speak up. Being a grown up is knowing you can ask the question and have dialogue. Does your organisation celebrate and encourage dialogue?
If you want to chat more about this approach to engaging your people or to share war stories on the times you have found yourself being either parent or child - get in touch for a truly adult conversation!
**What about looking at a new way of doing meetings - because we all love endless meetings! Check out LoMo to discover more.**