So you and your team have missed a major deadline or a target and the general morale of the team is low. It’s usually quite difficult to recover from this type of setback so how can you change this negative experience into a positive experience and leverage the experience into one of growth and not decline. If you manage the team then you will soon realise that it’s far harder to bring your team through failures than it is manage your own, or a colleagues recovery.
The reason for this is simply the complexity of the mixed emotions of a team.
So how do you manage the recovery of your team? How do you pick up the team?
Firstly you have to appreciate how easy it is to impinge your own emotions on your team so keep a positive attitude. Be seen to be in control of your own emotions but remain frank and genuine.
Give your team the time and space to be disappointed and to wallow in negativity and be careful not to try and pull them all together to move on too quickly as you will come across as being too clinical, cold and uncaring, Your team needs time to effectively grieve.
When it’s time for the team to come together and move on make sure you as a team truthfully analyse what went wrong. Say it as it is. If the deadlines were missed because tasks were allocated with too little time allotted then say it because it’s only by being frank and honest with the causes that you and the team are going to learn anything from the experience and move on. Don’t dwell too long on the failures as you have to move on but during the failure analysis stage if individuals have failed bring this up with them in private and not during a team meeting. Remember the intent is to learn what the failings were and to take these into the next project and at the same time to take your team freshly motivated with you.
Steve Blythe (Recruitment and Social Media Commentator).