I like to have off the cuff discussions with members of my Team. On most ocassions, I use these to gather feedback and to genuinely empathise with my team and Listen to them.
Of great interest to me has always been in moments we don’t agree on issues from how to design and address a client’s needs with our technical solutions to where whether we need to hire someone else. As the leader of this highly intelligent crop of individuals ( I have a CCIE, MBA , Two First Class Honours Engineering Graduates in my team et.al ) as expected, they have their own views with regards to Why, How and what stuff we need to do.
The two sided coin
However, I have come to learn that in order to be effective both as a leader and manager of this great team, I must be able to be comfortable with the fact that we can disagree but that doesn’t mean they are not with me – we may have two sides head and tail but we are still a single coin.
Are you leader enough to understand that somebody can disagree with you and still be with you? For instance, on the issue of hiring, they looked at the fact that we would reduce the workload greatly if we brought another team member but I looked at the fact that we may not currently have enough business to sustain the wage bill.So bringing someone in is a great idea however it means we need enough business to sustain the additional overhead.
As a leader, I ought to be able to understand that disagreement doesn’t mean betrayal.
The rubber band story
Do you know your limits and that of your team members? In assigning duties to my team mates and taking up duties myself, one of the key things I do is keep in mind both their individual capabilities and team abilities. See, the rubber band is designed to stretch so whenever you are stretching it you are using it in the way it is designed but if you over stretch it it breaks.
As a leader, you want to be challenged and stretched same for your team however you don’t wanna pop them or yourself. Learn your limitations and those of your team both individually and as a unit. Do not let people push you beyond your competence, instead be patient with yourself and your team and challenge them.
The coin has two sides, they are not the same however, both make what is known as a coin. The rubber band is designed to stretch not to pop!