Intro – what is this and why?
I strongly believe that to improve as a leader or at anything in this life you need to reflect on yourself. You need to be willing to dig up those failures and put them up on a wall to analyse what you did wrong, why you did it and what you could do better. This is what I plan on doing using this blog. Every week I am going to dive into my work as a leader and identify where I can improve. I will be honest in order to learn and to hopefully inspire others to learn and grow as well.
To read more about the importance of feedback and retrospectives check this post out!
This week was a good week. I rounded up the troops and had some individual feedback sessions. I wanted to be armed with things I could improve upon before I stepped into my new role in a few weeks. Most people dwell on what they are bad at or which areas they could improve on but understanding your strengths is vitally as important. If you know what your strengths are you can look for more opportunities to exercise those strengths and make the most of them. So, is some of the good feedback I had:
- I am good at understanding difficult and technical concepts explained by the team
- The team members felt empowered. They felt they had autonomy and my trust in order to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
- I bring a calmness to tense situations/conflict and am able to bring the team back together when relationships deteriorate.
- I am very engaged with the team and have been pivotal in making process and culture improvements through understanding their needs.
- I have good resource and project planning capabilities
- I own whatever is thrown my way well. I don’t shy away from a challenge or drop something when it gets hot under the collar.
Additionally, I had a leader whom I looked up to and respected tell me they see a lot of themselves in me, which is always a good indication that I am going in the right direction.
Here are the improvements I can look to make that came from the feedback sessions I held this week:
- Step in to relieve pressure created by team leads on individual contributors.
- There have been occasions where I have put pressure through constraints on team leads which has flowed down to the other team members. This stress can be a bad thing so I need to spend more time understanding the effects of the constraints on the individual contributors in the team and be willing to step in and alleviate pressure when required.
- Don’t assume the team are all on the same page.
- In some cases, the team haven’t all been up to speed as a unit. There have been gaps in communication. I can improve on this by making sure the team have a place to openly communicate about everything and have that as an integral part of our processes.
- Don’t assume just because I feel OK about running a prep session the day before a meeting that the other team members are. In one particular instance, this caused a huge amount of stress in the team member because they were a perfectionist and doing something the day before didn’t give them enough time to prepare.
- Bit of a lack of emotional intelligence on my part here. Time to reread this post! I was only thinking about myself in this situation – what works for me. I didn’t take into account that this person values different things, is motivated by different things and works differently to how I work. Next time I need to be considerate of others when arranging meetings and prepare for meetings.
- Be willing to be the bad cop more often when needed.
- Sometimes a sermon needs to be preached without being watered down or beating around the bush and I definitely need to get better at that. Being the bad cop is a required part of leadership and management and I should look to be more courageous and bold and not fear conflict. There are good was to have a conflict as described in this post.