Mind The Gap

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Leaders, how often do you check in with your team — and in what way?Keeping regular progress checks and open communication is essential to a healthy team, but it can be tough to do that in a way that includes people instead of getting them defensive.

One secret is to focus on activities and results instead of individual people as much as possible. Consider using a scale of 1 – 10 for the progress of a project. Ask your folks how they would rate the progress or result on that scale. This gives you both a measuring point for later down the road. More importantly, it helps to objectively separate the person from the project.  

“On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate our progress?”
“How would you rate the results on a scale of 1-10?”
“How effectively did the team collaborate on a scale of 1-10?”
If they respond with anything less than a 10, you have the opportunity to ask a powerful question: What would have made it a 10? Or, depending on the situation: What do you need to make it a 10?

The objective is to find the gap and understand what your team sees as the gap.Only then can you truly manage the task. You may discover they are missing an important element, or that they have an insight you never saw from your perspective. Either way, this scale becomes the roadmap for moving things forward. What’s more, it’s a language that inherently shows your team that you value their opinion and analysis.