It's tempting when taking on a new leadership role to jump in and make a lot of change. One of the best pieces of advice I received from an mentor early on in my career was to pause and observe what was going on. This served me well for 15 years as a leader who had a new team to lead every 3 - 36 months. Time and time again, taking the time to get to know my new team members, see how they interacted with each other, stakeholders, the goals and work they were tasked with, helped to confirm or shatter assumptions, as well as remind me of taking the time to understand and ask about the lay of the land, history and explore what's working and what doesn't.
Here are some questions to consider in the observation stage (not in any order):
1. What do you notice about your new role?
2. What do you notice about the priorities for the team?
3. What do you notice or know about the team's history? What's helped them in the past? What's hindered them?
4. What was your initial impression of the team and the work?
5. What assumptions are you holding? What's helpful about this? What's not?
6. What assumptions are backed by fact? What's not?
7. What stories are you hearing from the team? From others? How grounded are these?
8. How would you describe the team and their work? How would the team describe it?
9. What do you notice about the relationships in the team? Of the team with your boss? Other internal stakeholders? External stakeholders?
10. What's working so well?
11. What needs attention?
12. What is the team known for?
13. What have been the team's major successes?
14. What else do you notice?
Have a great week,
Potentials Realized | Coaching Team Leaders
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