How I Led My Team Astray and Successfully Course-Corrected

How I Led My Team Astray and Successfully Course-Corrected

How I Led My Team Astray and Successfully Course-Corrected

2023 was an odd year in business – at least for us and for the clients and other business leaders I’ve chatted with. There were some exciting successes and some not-so-savvy moves that didn’t pan out. And in the midst of all of it, I had led my team into confusion.

Yep – despite all my knowledge and preferences for clarity, an abundance of communication, and kick-ass processes, I messed up. And I’m here to spill the beans on how we got things back on track. 

Unveiling the Confusion

First things first – I wasn’t aware of the confusion I had caused on my team. For me, there wasn’t any indicator in the day to day work that my team didn’t understand the new process or that they were struggling. It wasn’t until our end-of-year Team Feedback Meeting that I discovered the issue.

And the even suckier part was that I thought I had been communicative; I had explained the ‘why’ behind some of the changes and gone over what the new process looked like. But, I had missed some crucial elements of my own change management process. There were several pieces of the puzzle I left undiscussed (and actually, completely unaccounted for).  

The lesson learned? Don’t skip out on thoroughly thinking through your changes. And realize and appreciate that your team is your on-the-ground intelligence. They are the people regularly executing the tasks in a process and, as a leader, you need to hold open discussion with them and stay attuned to current and potential challenges. That’s the real secret sauce to keep things running smoothly.

Embracing Criticism

You can’t host a Team Feedback Meeting or have any kind of open discussion with your team if you’re driving with ego. You have to enter the meeting with humility, respect, and transparency. It’s not about you or your team playing a blame game; it’s about proactively revealing issues so that you can continue to grow with a strong operational foundation.

Prior to a Team Feedback Meeting, my operations manager sends out a whole list of questions for the team to start thinking about. It’s the same questions we’ll ask during the meeting. I want my team to spend time reflecting on things and bringing up real issues, not just off-the-whim complaints. This lets us dig deep and understand where the real internal pain points are.

Since I know my team has put thought into the issues they’re bringing up, I’m able to lean into humility and a readiness to improve rather than a defensive mindset. 

Collaborative Vision Rework

Emphasizing that a Team Feedback Meeting isn’t a complaining session means making sure that there’s follow up and follow through on the major issues. Now, I do stress with my team that not every issue will have a solution – sometimes there will be things that we have to do a certain way whether they, as a team, like it or not. Other times, I want to ensure that the process and priorities back up a customer centric and team satisfaction focus.

In this case, it meant I needed to connect the dots on various issues, host a meeting to brainstorm solutions with certain members of our team, and game plan the action steps to correct the process. Taking these steps and pulling my team into the brainstorming process also helps them lean into a solutions-oriented approach and be able to creatively problem solve in the future. 

Clarity in Process, Priorities, and Responsibilities

The result? A meticulously crafted process that is both thoughtful and strategic. There’s clarity in the workflow, day to day responsibilities, and overall priorities to keep us moving toward our goals and KPIs while ensuring balance within the team.

The changes don’t just address their concerns, it also turbocharges morale and productivity. It’s a testament to the power of humbly acknowledging mistakes, embracing feedback, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

I don’t believe in Team Feedback Meetings for just putting out fires and it’s more about simple problem solving. I host them twice a year with my team to empower them, stay on top of issues, and ensure that our strategic decisions will make sense. 

 

If you’re facing operational challenges, are sensing frustration in your team, or simply want to make sure there’s no confusion amongst your processes, then reach out to us. We’re not just service providers following a script of advice – we’re partners with you toward operational excellence. We can help you host a Team Feedback Meeting and mediate any issues that come up to turn challenges into opportunities. 

 

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