Warning, this post is going to be a bit touchy-feely. But it’s good for us to get that way every so often.
In my previous post, I recounted how I’ve been working with my donkey trainer, Tom, to break old, bad habits and learn how to give my donkeys fast, clear feedback. I’ve been practicing these new techniques with them. I often make mistakes, and both I and whichever donkey I’m working get frustrated. But we are improving.
I realized last week that not only do my donkeys behave better, they seem happier. And I love them more! Going through this learning process together has made our bond tighter. We enjoy each other more.
This can be true at work too, right? When your team solves a thorny problem, or gets that release from hell safely into production FINALLY, you’re ready to celebrate. OK, you’re not going to hold hands and sing Kumbaya, but you might go out for a beer or play an online zombie game together. You may notice that you feel better about your coworkers. And yes, they may annoy you again later, but you’ll have a stronger bond to support your progress.
Hold a retrospective, bring up that problem that’s slowing you down, ask the team to brainstorm experiments to make that problem a little less painful. Learn from fast feedback. Aspire to be magnificent. You may find at the same time that you are building trust, collaborating better, and yes, having more fun!