By Stephen Hanman – Collaborative Companion
Missed Step 0? Find it here.
Step One – Connecting the Spokes
The first step in changing leadership styles is to begin to create individual connections between members of the team. People within a team may already have personal relationships with each other, and these people are much more likely to work constructively, self-sufficiently and interdependently.
Whilst team members still may not be able to communicate with those on the other side of the team’s circle, they can begin to handle problems and work more efficiently and effectively with those that work either side of them.
Not only are they cutting out the time they would usually have to wait whilst the manager runs information up and down the spokes of their wheel, but they are also respecting each other personally. Why? When you promise a deadline to someone you like, you don’t want to disappoint them. Same goes for other members of the team, once they are communicating face-to-face with each other promises are more likely to be kept.
This process can be inhibited if the manager of the team does not want to release the power of knowing and controlling all the information and processes. The manager is still vital to the team, however, as broader information and team and project goals still need to be managed and communicated across the team’s circle and also up the hierarchy. The manager also needs to be aware of – but not control – the general directions within each relationship’s micro-collaboration, and communicate these directions across the team, to ensure that everything is headed towards a united purpose.
As these co-worker relationships strengthen, team members will naturally begin to collaborate, purely out of a ‘like’ for their colleague. With a ‘like’ comes respect, communication and care. When people feel that they are being ‘liked’ by their colleagues, they will begin to enjoy work and bring ‘all of themselves’ to work on a daily basis.
Happier Staff = Higher Productivity = Greater Economy
(I’m no mathematician, but I’m 100% sure the equation balances).
The next part of Changing Leadership Styles, Step Two – Implementing the Wheel, will be explained in the next post.