Autonomy meaning in effective leadership. This is about how to help teams well. When we help teams, we sometimes do too much. This talk is about not doing too much but still helping well. It’s from what I see in teams and from my own experience. Today’s words are dedicated to the members of support teams. I have noticed, including in myself, that we tend to jump into the role of rescuers. And it doesn’t matter whether we do it at someone’s request or out of a sense of responsibility.
Autonomy Meaning – The Rescuer’s Challenge
Often, stepping into the role of a rescuer involves negative consequences. Both for us and for the team. Let’s remember to maintain a sober view of the situation and have a solid knowledge of what falls within the team’s responsibility and what falls within ours. Mostly, our role is limited to teaching tools, supporting in finding a solution, recommending actions, and showing the way. Let’s remember to return to our side of the field at the right moment.
Effective Feedback and Support
Lyssa Adkins described this in a great way. If we see that the team is making a mistake – let’s clearly inform them about it and describe the probable consequences of their decision. However, let’s not jump in all white with a lifebuoy. Or, even more so, let’s not make arbitrary decisions for the team. After the fact, it may turn out that we were wrong. However, if not, let’s return to the team to help them analyze and once again support them in solving the problem. How to help a team, a few steps:
- Teaching Tools Example: Imagine you’re teaching someone to use a computer program. Your role is to show them how it works, like how to open a file or change settings. But, you don’t do their work for them. You’re there to guide, not take over.
- Supporting in Finding a Solution Example: Let’s say your team is trying to fix a problem with a project. Instead of solving it for them, you help them think of different ways to fix it. You might ask questions like, “Have we tried this method?” or suggest, “Let’s look at how we solved a similar problem last time.”
- Recommending Actions Example: This could be like a coach in a sport. You might say, “I think practicing more on these skills could help,” but you don’t play the game for them. You’re there to give advice and direction.
- Showing the Way Example: Think of this like a tour guide. You’re showing the path, pointing out important things along the way, but the team is walking the path themselves. You might say, “This is the way we usually handle these tasks,” but you let them do the walking.
- Returning to Your Side of the Field Example: This is like knowing when to step back. If you’re helping someone learn to ride a bike, there comes a point where you let go and let them pedal on their own. You’re still there, watching and ready to help, but they’re the ones riding.
- Informing About Mistakes Example: If you see the team is about to make a mistake, you gently warn them. Like saying, “If we go this way, we might face these problems,” but you let them decide whether to take that route or not.
- Help in Analysis and Support in Problem Solving Example: If the team made a decision that didn’t work out, you help them understand why. It’s like looking at a failed recipe and figuring out together what went wrong, so next time they can cook it better.
My name is David. I believe that changing the culture of an organization can be simple, and my goal is to provide information and ways to make this possible. I am responsible for the development of teams in 10 locations. I adhere to the principle of "people first, tools later", and that partnership and trust is the key to building the company's value.