Why does someone choose to work on our SoftwareONE Learning & Development (L&D) team? Why do they work so hard and care so deeply for their teammates? What keeps them engaged?
In large part, it is because of the trust and cohesion the leader builds with each team member. I help to lead this, but is never totally on me, nor about the leader. Building trust and cohesion is about enabling another person – to thoroughly understand their professional desires, to feel the fire of drive, to operate in a space of potential that is fully supported.
As the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, Ben Zander, said, “I could galvanize an orchestra, but could I enhance, enliven and awaken an orchestra to be the most they could be?” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCy8K68JP7g)
These may sound like lofty ideals, but they are within our immediate reach as leaders.
Utilizing the Goals, Roles, Process & Interpersonal (GRPI) tool to build trust and cohesion
Allow me to share my first step to achieve these outcomes: employment of the GRPI tool with each team member. The GRPI at a minimum is a great way to set up a project, where team members discuss the goals, process and roles for accomplishing their end state, as well as the treatment of the team as they work to achieve the goals. However, it can also be used to set the stage for the leader and his or her team member’s relationship; in other words, a tool for discovering what the team member wants to achieve.
I recently helped recruit a SoftwareONE team member to help our L&D group create a new onboarding program with the goal of getting our newly acquired talent to a productive state at a much faster pace. But, instead of talking about the project, we started by using the GRPI tool to discover and agree upon what she wanted out of the experience.
It went something like this:
What are your immediate goals with joining the L&D team?
What are your career goals?
What is really inspiring to you?
What are you interested in?
How can your interests further this project and L&D in general?
What do you want to get out of this experience?
What do you want my (your leader’s) role to be?
What’s your role?
What do you think the role of your team is to you?
How often, where, and when would you like to meet to stay on track?
Given your overall goals, how should we set milestones along the way to achieve them?
Do you want to be fully integrated into the L&D team? What does that mean to you?
What is your communication style?
What are your strengths?
Think of the best team you’ve ever been on, or the best working experience you’ve had, what made it great?
How do you like to be treated?
How do you want to treat your teammates?
What makes your professional life special to you?
When you’re at your best, what’s going on in the environment? How are you and other people behaving?
What do you want me (your leader) to do to best enliven you and your passions?
We spent two hours having this conversation. It was awakening! She took off on the project, quickly recruited a team, used innovative design and is slated to exceed her goal – creating a program better than either of us could have imagined.
As Zander’s partner and executive coach, Rosamand Stone Zander, states, “How alive is the person that I’m leading to the possibility and vision? How much creative action can that person take from his own inspiration?” This is the gold! This is enlivening another person to be the best that they can be, to live out their dreams and operate from their strengths.
Thank you to the L&D team and to SoftwareONE, a place where fully supported potential, complementing a person’s talents, is a constant pursuit of both our leaders and team members.