One of the age old difficulties of working with other teams outside your own is that they have no prior context of your abilities. There is no trust built and even though you are working together, you aren’t on the same team yet. How can you bridge that gap and help them feel confident that you have their best interests in mind and want to get the best outcome together?
There are a couple tactics that I have in mind, but there is no tried and true method yet. What do you think?
- Make them feel smart by proving you’re not always smarter
- Okay, that’s a little strong but when you’re in the midst of change, everything is running a mile a minute in your head. We forget the simplest things. We rush around trying to get too many things done. You need to slow down. Don’t always blurt out the answer or say, “here I’ll just do it for you”. They know the answer, let them get to it at their own pace.
- Everyone loves hearing “good job”. They like knowing their hard work is noticed and their efforts are worthwhile. As leaders, you have to be a thought leader. It may be your job to work out the details of how to make that idea possible, but make a point to say “that’s a good idea”.
- When I’m doing a training session, I am the trainer and the one in charge of the schedule, attendance, and making sure that everyone learns something. It can make managers of that team uneasy. Give the manager a say by asking yes/no questions or letting them choose between three choices in some of the activities. If you give them ways to contribute they won’t try to bulldoze your control during the actual training. A good example is asking them who should/shouldn’t attend certain session together. Use their social knowledge to make your job easier.