One article about behaviors that helps foster synergy within our Product Teams
It may be complex, hard, and take time, but it pays off.
In my previous post, I brought my opinion about why we should foster synergy within our product teams. Here I’m going to talk about behaviors that will help you, as a leader, foster synergy. And by “leader”, I don’t mean only a People Manager, but anyone in the product team playing the lead role: the Product Manager, a Technical Lead, a Scrum Master, etc.
However, if you are expecting a framework or a set of rules you can just “do” or “apply”, here is not the right place for you. The main reason why you can’t simply apply a framework to foster the synergy is that it should come from the heart, not from a process, and it should also be based on examples. Anything related to emotions or social interactions shouldn’t be something mechanical, but natural instead. I recommend firstly you read the first part of this article at the link below.
Hoping you are still here, here we go:
Combat any type of bias
This is a MUST, and I hope there’s no debate about it. Any type of sexism, racism, or bias should not only be avoided but combatted. Any type of bias or discrimination affects people well-being as described in this article:
Discrimination at Work: Prevalent yet subtle workplace bias erodes productivity and engagement
PROVO, Utah, March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study by VitalSmarts, a Top 20 Leadership Training Company, found…
That should be enough information to conclude that if someone is feeling “unwelcome” or “useless” he/she will not engage in the work. Or, if someone is trying to be or act differently just to be accepted, how much effort he/she needs to spend on it which could be spent on something productive?
Regardless of the magnitude of the impact on the business, to combat any type of bias is about care for people, and that should be enough reason to be pursued in any organization.
Respect and value different opinions and point of views
Product development is nothing but innovation. We will only succeed if we can deliver a disruptive idea for something new, or an enjoyable solution for an existent problem, or simply a different (and better) solution that replaces an existent solution. If we keep doing the same thing for long, ods are our competitors will deliver a better product very soon.
Innovation doesn’t come alone. Good ideas are better found if we work together. We have to collaborate and value different ideas, opinions, and points of view. Ok but hang on, this topic isn’t exactly about collaboration.
It’s about respect and value different opinions. It’s about listening, processing, and connecting ideas. It’s to stop saying “Nah! that’s bullshit” and start saying “ok, tell me more about it”. If we keep doing the first, soon enough people will stop contributing and our collaboration process is gone. Besides that, everybody wants to feel respected and valued as well, so it’s not only about collaboration but about motivation and even people-retention.
Celebrate and recognize the achievements (even the small ones)
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu
When we build something big, we always deliver it in small pieces. In engineering, we need to build a strong foundation to support a big building, and then create the floors. It’s the same in product development. We create foundations, modules, layers, and interfaces, to eventually connect them all to create a loveable product. And ALL deliveries matters, if we don’t deliver a single one, everything is jeopardized.
We use to wait to celebrate only in the end (if it succeeds), but if we celebrate every important step, we will keep a high level of motivation and a high level of engagement.
Have always the goals and objectives well defined
Synergy is also about working together to achieve the same goals and objectives. People need to know which direction to follow. If we don’t have goals and objectives well defined, we are sailing without a direction, and we may head to the wrong one. We need to make sure, as leaders, to not only have the objectives and goals well defined but to make sure those are understood by the team.
This article was mainly about human behaviors. I hope you see it’s actually not a framework. We live in a world surrounded by different types of bias, where people need to impose their opinions and talk more than listen. We are also usually very busy and swamped to celebrate even the small steps or to review our goals and make sure we have a good understanding of where we are and where to go.
Depending on the case, it won’t be easy and won’t be simple. But it will definitely pay off.