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GRID BA Insights & Action—April 2022

Updated: May 9, 2022

How Do Solar Panels Like Their Eggs? Sunny-Side Up.

Thank you to all who filled out the survey last month.

We asked the question: “Who really shows up for you?” and want to recognize Juan Bernal, Cynthia Ibarra and Lizzie Lincoln for getting the most nominations. While we don’t have rewards to offer like fancy jackets or overpriced water bottles, we have creative gifts. Email to claim yours!

There is so much we each do that doesn’t get recognized. That said, take a moment, think about someone you want to recognize, and tell them what you appreciate about them.

In the last months you’ve made huge progress when it comes to role clarity and direction. Meanwhile, there’s still work to be done to clarify jobs and when it comes to team-building, opening communication and building trust.

Building on the last survey, please take a moment to fill out another. There are only two questions and your responses will be heard.

Insights from March and (optional) actions for April

Based on the four questions you answered on the March survey here are some initial reflections. Invite your team to read through and open conversation about what stands out, what’s going well, and upcoming actions y’all might take to grow.

1. "I have enough direction to do my job well"

You've improved by 12% (from 70% to 82%). In December, 5 respondents answered this question 2/5 or below. This time, everyone responded as 3/5 or higher.

Actions to consider:

  • Operationalize getting help (team check-ins): Asking for help can build trust and increase happiness at work. Before a fuller team check-in, have team-members get in pairs and share: Something they need clarity on in their role and something that helps them to do their job better. During the fuller team check-in, share takeaways, take note, suggest actions, and seek opportunities to follow up offline.

  • Explore your differences: Give your team 15-minutes to explore your differences related to the question: “What supports you to show up fully in your role?” While one person might prefer verbal direction, another might prefer a written summary or organized check-list. Lean into the differences and get curious about how one another’s needs vary. As managers, invite this conversation during your 1:1’s.

  • Consider personal action: List the you’re unclear about your job. For each item, write why there’s lack of clarity and consider a corresponding that will help. Consider how privilege or bias gets in the way. As a manager, who do you gravitate toward or provide more support to? Who don’t you notice or approach as readily?

2. Balancing getting work done with team-building and DEI activities

Your score hasn’t changed and hovers around 65%. Most teams face tension in this area. On one hand some people think: how are we going to get work done when we’re always “team-building” or talking about our feelings. On another hand, some people may think, “how can we get good work done when no one understands who I am, what I need, or what my personal struggles and perspectives are?

A significant number of your colleagues want more DEI and team-building activities. Ultimately, good trainings and activities will make your team stronger and more effective in the long-run. Remember, there’s more to everyone than meets the eye and when you think team-building doesn’t matter, it does to someone and it’s part of your job as a team-member to understand why.

Actions to consider:

  • Suspend judgment and get curious: Assume team-building efforts are helping someone to show up better on your team and that when anyone is more fully supported, we all show up better as a whole. If you have constructive criticism about how a team-building activity is led, make suggestions in service of better team-building experiences—every team is different and poorly timed/executed activities can cause more harm than good.

  • Watch this video: DEI has many layers, and one is micro-aggressions. If you want to see a helpful metaphor for how you or your colleagues might be impacted watch this video. Consider watching the video as a team, sharing how you relate to the video in pairs, then debriefing as a team.

  • Integrate learning: You’ve already begun a EID series with Tierney Yates of Little Light Consulting Firm. Consistently revisit your team agreements and make it a point to reflect on your takeaways and add to your team agreements so learning manifests as ongoing action.

3. Open 2-way communication and resolving issues between team members

There hasn’t been a significant change in these areas and, as an organization, you score 70%. Building trust and opening communication is ongoing work. The actions above can help. Meanwhile, you have to make time for courageous conversations that help stretch everyone’s comfort zones to be more expansive.

Actions to consider:

  • Practice group or 1:1 feedback: How many relationships strain because you avoid saying what’s really on your mind? Unless you make feedback a team practice, it (likely) won’t happen. Make time for appreciative feedback and constructive feedback and explore approaches that work for everyone.

  • Talk about zones: Watch this video and discuss with your team: When it comes to giving and receiving feedback, why do you go to the panic zone? What helps you feel safer or more comfortable? Exercise your care for each other by getting curious, asking questions, and learning how to offer feedback in ways that work for everyone individually. One way of looking at cultural differences is through “Hofsteeds Cultural Dimensions.”

  • Talk openly: What does open communication mean to everyone on the team, what’s in the way, and what helps.

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