How to Successfully Build Social Awareness on Your Team
Building social awareness in your team can help improve the team’s culture by establishing a set of common expectations for how you will interact every day. Create some guidelines around how everyone will handle stress and overcome challenges and make some rules about how decisions are made. With small, targeted interventions, this is possible.
We’ve crafted a list of four of them for you to consider adopting.
4 Simple Ways to Build Social Awareness on Your Team
- Set ground rules and stick to them. Call group members on their errant behaviors but assume that undesirable behaviors take place for a reason. Find out what that reason is, ask questions, and listen. Try to avoid negative attributions as this doesn’t serve anyone.
- Take time away from tasks. Have check-ins at the beginning of regular meetings to ask how everyone is doing. Acknowledge and discuss group moods and support members by remaining flexible. Offer emotional support or material help if they need it. Consider gathering for periodic outings outside of the office.
- Have a plan for when things get rough. Be optimistic and reinforce the team they can meet the challenge. Create fun ways to acknowledge and relieve stress/tension. Focus on what you can control — focus on problem-solving, not blaming. Remind members of the group’s important and positive mission.
- Make sure everyone is involved in decision-making. Respect individuality and differences in perspectives. Ask whether everyone agrees with the decision — encourage the quiet members to give their input. Above all, protect members from any form of attack based on their opinions.
Remember you’re not alone as a manager in trying to create a culture of self-awareness, your team members are a critical part of this process. Be sure to consult your team members as you create ground rules and make explicit pacts around language you will use to address conflicts when they arise.
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Written by Rachel Strysik