You must help your team turn obstacles into assets.
That means helping them to see their problems, impediments, blockers, and hurdles as learning opportunities.
Sound crazy? Here are a few examples…
1. Are new requirements derailing a project deadline? Maybe there’s a learning opportunity around incremental releases. Or about estimating with ranges. Or about change orders.
2. Are you not getting website content until the last minute? Maybe there’s a learning opportunity around teamwork. Or working in silos. Or collaboration with clients.
3. Are you releasing too many bugs? Maybe there’s an opportunity to improve your unit tests. Or incremental QA. Or pair-programming.
4. Do you find some developers are “coasting”? Maybe there’s an opportunity to learn about motivation. Or relationships. Or mentoring. Or connecting-the-dots.
Each day we each face 1,000 problems.
But most days we don’t learn from them.
Until we decide to take a moment and ask:
“Why is this happening? Does it have to happen? Is there a better way? What options am I forgetting?”
Good technical leaders pose a lot of questions to their team. And by doing so, they teach them to ask the same questions for themselves.
Ask more questions.
Look for learning opportunities.
Expect your team does the same.