If Charles Foster Kane had someone who asked how he was doing everyday, others may have understood what “rosebud” truly meant to him. Inquiries into our personal lives allow us a brief moment to pause and reflect. Having conversations with one another about our lives is an opportunity to kindle honest relationships, both on a personal and professional level.
As a people and project manager, it’s important for team members to feel confident about the work they’re doing and what’s ahead.
How do know if someone is feeling confident?
Confident members of your team communicate clearly and openly, their demeanor is constructive and positive, and the quality of their work shows. When a team member is uneasy or unsure, they may hunker down, feel apprehensive about asking questions, or reluctant to reach out to others for help.
Personality types play a large role in how people behave and communicate. Some team members will try to work through challenges while others will immediately reach out. Learning about each team member on a personal level will help you grow as a manager and ensure their success.
How can you help your team feel more confident?
Build trust and empathy
We juggle many things in our lives; our families, friends, hobbies, and work. The common thread between those are the personal relationships that enable us to grow and expand our connections and interests. A communicative and open relationship with team members allows individuals to freely and openly share their opinions, collaborate effectively, and feel confident during planning.
Begin to build relationships with your team by asking a couple simple questions: how are you doing? how are you feeling? Understanding your team’s unique perspectives will start to identify how you might draw path for them to succeed and feel more confident in their work.
Always remember to reach out to individuals who may be introverted or less outspoken. A strong team is a collection of T-Shaped individuals with unique strengths, specializations, and personalities. Each member of your team should be heard equally as they bring unique perspectives to the table.
Determine and establish confidence
When projects are in crisis, flags are raised, meetings are held, projects are rescoped, or processes are established to help teams mitigate incoming risks. These are great levers to pull when a team notices risks in the horizon.
However, we often overlook scenarios where people complete tasks according to schedule but feel uneasy about the outcomes or how well the project fulfills the customer requirements. What happens when individuals find themselves lost or doubtful of the success of their product or feature?
It’s important to check-in with team members for feedback.
- How’s your sprint coming along?
- Have you started working on the new tech design?
- Was the work as straightforward as you had hoped?
Complexities are not always what hold individuals back. Distractions may work their way into the sprint and manifest in many different forms. Seeing work falling off-track at the end of the sprint is both concerning and surprising, and the team will scramble to help one another.
Frequent individual check-ins help establish common behaviors and habits so team members communicate confidently and feel comfortable requesting help when needed.
Listen to feedback
Establish a process for continued feedback by intentionally building relationships and following through with frequent check-ins.
Listen and understand your team member’s feedback by acknowledging their concerns, and address them to maintain high morale and confidence. The burden of not communicating feedback becomes a tax over time that blocks individuals from feeling comfortable sharing their thoughts.
Each day is an opportunity to connect with team members to understand how they contribute to the team, learn who they are as individuals, and understand what we can do to help them succeed. Establishing communication with each team member builds valuable relationships based on honesty and trust. These tools help us surface complications early in the project lifecycle, before they become bigger issues.