Rebel Diaries

BITESIZE: Scott Fulton - Three Mistakes Struggling Teams Make

March 27, 2023 Scott Fulton Season 2 Episode 49
Rebel Diaries
BITESIZE: Scott Fulton - Three Mistakes Struggling Teams Make
Show Notes Transcript

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Scott is the host of the Rebel Diaries podcast.  He helps teams and leaders focus on what really matters and stop wasting time on what doesn't through training and coaching with his Do Less Deliver More brand.

In this bitesize episode, he covers three mistakes he sees struggling teams making and advises what she should do instead.

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[00:00:00] Scott: Hi, I'm Scott Fulton, the host of the Rebel Diaries podcast. This show will help you learn how to make work better for you, your colleagues and the organization you work for. I believe the modern workplace is broken for too many people with leaders and their teams, drowning in corporate complexity, information overload, and unnecessary levels of stress. 

[00:00:18] Scott: Having spent over 20 years leading disruptive high-performing teams who have won international awards for their impact. I've now dedicated my career to helping coach and train leaders and teams to deliver more value and impact at work whilst reducing the risk of burnout, overload, and wasted effort. 

[00:00:34] Scott: This podcast is dedicated to you and thousands like you who know work can and should be better.

[00:00:39] Scott: You'll get tips and insights from me as well as the amazing guests I invite to be the show, many of them have disrupted their industries and are thought leaders, speakers, and authors who have fascinating stories and advice to share. 

[00:00:50] Scott: Thank you for listening. I'm Scott Fulton and welcome to the Rebel Diaries show. Hi, and welcome to this week's episode. You've got me today so this episode is called three mistakes struggling teams make and what they should do instead. So many of us have been here before, or some of you may actually be here now. You've got far too much work on. 

[00:01:14] Scott: The bosses are losing confidence in your team. 

[00:01:18] Scott: Or have lost confidence. The team is stressed out. Other teams playing politics and. Taking pot shots at you sending snarky emails. Deadlines are nearly always missed. People are working long hours and weekends. And the work that you're producing is just not the quality that you'd know you're capable of. 

[00:01:40] Scott: And when teams are in this position. I've seen three mistakes that they tend to make in an attempt to make things better. 

[00:01:48] Scott: And these things actually. Often make things worse. And I've learned this the hard way. 

[00:01:54] Scott: And I've done these things in the past. So the first one is people pleasing. So when a team or department or in this situation, They just want the pressure to stop. They want their bosses to like them again. To have faith and confidence in their ability to deliver what's expected of them. 

[00:02:12] Scott: But sadly, this drives the behavior of wanting to please everyone. So the team, even though they know the new requests for work will tip them even further over the edge. They don't want to be seen to say no. They want to be the yes team. They want to be seen as the team that gets stuff done. But the problem is by saying yes to everything. 

[00:02:33] Scott: The team is just setting themselves up to fail even more. So instead of being the team that gets stuff done. They are the team that gets very little done. 

[00:02:43] Scott: People pleasing, only compounds the problem that you're trying to solve further. This can be quite prolific in the more unloved departments within an organization, such as HR. And IT. 

[00:02:55] Scott: And I say unloved because they're quite often taken for granted by the senior members of the organization. And these departments tend to be even more desperate to please than others. So they take on too much work. And they accept ideas that they don't fundamentally agree with in terms of things they should be doing. That have usually come from the boardroom. 

[00:03:16] Scott: But they just want to be loved. We're humans. 

[00:03:20] Scott: So what should teams do instead of people, please? Well, you guessed it. Don't people please. Stop saying yes to everything. Now that sounds so easy to say, obviously, But to do this takes courage, strong leadership, and the confidence to say enough is enough. 

[00:03:38] Scott: Now if the problem is your direct line manager, who's responsible for the team. And you don't feel safe to speak to them about it. The fact that they're saying yes to everything and that's then putting pressure on you. And you don't think it would change. Then you may have to start looking for employment elsewhere. 

[00:03:56] Scott: That's obviously for you to decide. 

[00:03:57] Scott: But there's a reason successful companies minimize the work that they've got in progress at any one time and effective teams do the same. Being overloaded is no longer a badge of honor. It's a recipe for going out of business or most of your staff going off with stress. 

[00:04:14] Scott: The bosses will be happy with the team when they deliver value, that makes a dent in the organization, but they can only do that. If they've got the space to breathe. So you would have heard phrases like quality over quantity less is more. If you try and catch a dozen rabbits at the same time, your cash, none. 

[00:04:30] Scott: So mistake number two is being less collaborative. So it's a well-known psychological behavior that when we are stressed we become less willing to share and collaborate. Our defenses go up and we battened down the hatches to protect ourselves. We start to become paranoid that others are out to get us. They're talking behind our backs. Other teams are waiting for us to fail. There's a corporate hammer is closing in on us and so on. 

[00:04:58] Scott: This mistake was natural is again counterintuitive. It makes the situation even worse. If the team shut other people out, they lose trust. They lose transparency and they won't get the help that they need from others. Other teams will start to wonder what they're doing. They may be on the receiving end of a snappy comment or email from a team member and the less collaborative team. 

[00:05:21] Scott: We're still the overloaded team by shutting themselves off. I could be carrying a corporate time bomb. Just waiting to go off that no one has spotted. 

[00:05:29] Scott: So what should they do instead? So as hard as it may be, the team need to be more open than ever. They need to share the challenges with our colleagues outside of the team. There's a good chance that I'd like to be sympathetic and offer to help. It may take some time for that trust to be rebuilt. Show your work. So I'm a big fan of. 

[00:05:50] Scott: Transparency of work. So, if you could be, if you can be transparent about the work you have to do this builds trust and could inspire solutions from other teams and people across the organization. 

[00:06:02] Scott: You can also confide in people that you trust about the pressure. Firstly, it's good to share the pain you're going through but secondly, it may trigger help. And the support that you badly need. 

[00:06:13] Scott: And finally ask your boss to have the difficult conversations with people to manage expectations, share the burden, or just stop doing some work. You'd be surprised. Most chief execs aren't that unreasonable. 

[00:06:26] Scott: Same mistake. Number three is cutting corners. So when you're faced with a deadline that fundamentally isn't realistic, you have a few options. Number one, you can work exceptionally long hours to get it over the line. But you're probably nearly killed the team in the process. Number two, you can ask for an extension, but the chances are the date you'll get given. Won't be viable either because in my experience, most of these dates are just made up anyway. 

[00:06:53] Scott: Number three, ask for more people to help. But that doesn't always speed things up either. 

[00:07:00] Scott: Number four is de-scope some of the work to meet the deadline. 

[00:07:05] Scott: This is the best option by the way. Or the last one, number five is cut corners and compromise on quality. 

[00:07:12] Scott: Now this sadly is what tends to happen quite often. So, what do you think happens? If you cut corners and compromise on quality. 

[00:07:22] Scott: Some examples are a poor product or service that fails to deliver on expectations. Low team morale because they're not producing work at good quality who wants to come into work and spend the time producing subpar work. Poor customer experience. 

[00:07:39] Scott: Buggy software. Annoyed bosses. Disappointed colleagues. And it's actually all a false economy, because quite often when you cut these corners, you've then got to clean up the mess afterwards. That actually means it takes longer overall. 

[00:07:53] Scott: So cutting corners is certainly a shortcut, but it's a shortcut to pain. 

[00:07:57] Scott: So, what should you do instead of cutting corners? 

[00:08:02] Scott: Well, in my view, the only thing that should give is the scope. Is de-scope some of the work. Because all the other options do not produce good results and they have an impact on the team. 

[00:08:16] Scott: But of course, the only way you can, de-scope some of the work as if you are working in an optimized way. And that's been covered on previous episodes, which I'll make sure I put a link in the show notes to. 

[00:08:29] Scott: So those are the three key mistakes. I see teams making people pleasing. Saying yes to everything. Being less collaborative. Like battening down the hatches because. We're feeling stressed and pressured. Instead of being more open and sharing. 

[00:08:45] Scott: And asking for help. And cutting corners , so faced with an unrealistic deadline. Cutting corners and reducing the quality of the work. 

[00:08:53] Scott: So hopefully some of those resonate with you. If they do, I'd love to hear about it. Please leave me an audio message. There's a link in the show notes at the top. Or drop me a message on social media links again or in the show notes. 

[00:09:07] Scott: So, this was just a quick bite size episode. I hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to tune in next week. I've got another great guest coming up. And just before I go, thank you again for being a listener to the show. It is really appreciated. So until next time. 

[00:09:22] Scott: A big, thank you for listening to the Rebel Diaries show your time is precious, so it is appreciated. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to hit that subscribe button in your podcast app of choice so you don't miss the next one. There's a new episode every Monday morning, ideal for your commute to work or early morning walk. 

[00:09:39] Scott: Until next time, take care be a rebel and deliver work with impact.