Begin with the generous question: What do you need most from me to thrive in your role? Depending on the stage of the team’s lifespan, the answer might have critical impact. Consider these typical scenarios:
A newly formed team: “I need you to fully understand our mission and make sure your day-to-day words and actions are true to our organizational values.”
An established team: “I need to trust you’ll communicate with transparency and follow through with the aspects of your job that affect the rest of us.”
An innovating team: “I need you to have the courage to think differently and value the perspectives of others. While we may have the same destination, there may be many paths to get there.”
A changing team: “I need you to find a way to let go of the way is used to be and embrace our new circumstances.”
Each of these examples move the team forward through the action of accountability. If we choose not to ask the generous question, we can seek comfort in the safety of hard work, competence, and kindness. True collaboration, however, shuns safety for the risk of considering the needs of your teammates.