To summarize my last post – in a team’s first phase, you need to prepare them well. This means you determine what’s needed to get you from where you are at to where you need to be. Then you resource and prepare your people accordingly.
Today I want to cover what the sending phase looks like.
Phase Two – Sending (& Support)
Often times if a leader has prepared their team well, they forget a crucial part of sending their people, a support structure. After all, when you send your people without support, you have not empowered them, you’ve abdicated to them. Empowering means you equipping and supporting. Abdication means you forget about them. So how do you support your people well without taking away their ability to own and executive the mission? My simple answer – implement a coaching structure.
Coaching vs. Consulting & A Sample Coaching Structure
Coaching is when we draw others out and call them to move forward on the ideas they have generated. Consulting is when we tell others what we think needs to be done. The former calls people to ownership. The latter creates an unnecessary dependency. “But what if they don’t know what to do?” you ask. It’s OK to do a little teaching and give a little direction, but then bounce it back to your team with “Knowing what we know now, what’s your next move?” Don’t tell them what to do, challenge them to think and own their next step.
Giving people the freedom to act is good. But not giving them a support structure is like sending them out into the wild without any weapons. You might consider a weekly or monthly huddle with your leaders to see how they are doing. The agenda for a meeting might look something this.
- Get clear on what your current team goal is
- Ask each leader how it’s going and what barriers they might be facing.
- Next, ask what they’ve tried and what ideas they have for overcoming those barriers.
- Last, ask them what they might do next and when they are going to do it.
If they need help, you can give it to them. You might also consider asking the team to speak into the situation. Act as a facilitator, not a drill sergeant.
Sending your team to do the work with a support structure like this will empower them to act and provide the guard rails necessary to keep them on track.
Need training in coaching skills & structures for your team? Contact me here.