Habit Support: Name the role that feels the tensions
Sneak Peek #1: Holacracy Habit Support
One of the features available to GlassFrog users on the Premium Plan is our Holacracy Habit Support Program. This program delivers sequenced, bite-size lessons to build the skills and habits essential to Holacracy practice, such as how to effectively process tensions, and how to shift from personal to role-based power. Read on for a sneak preview!
Have you ever experienced the following “symptoms” in your organization?
- Lots of meetings with exhaustive discussion
- Emails cc’d to everyone, often for unclear reasons
These painfully familiar symptoms point to a common cause — lack of clarity.
When we’re not clear who needs to be involved in a decision or who has the authority to make it, we often default to getting everyone involved. A role is like a uniform. You can put it on and take it off as needed, to help gain perspective on whether or not your role “cares” about a particular decision. In organizations where we don’t differentiate the individual from the role, it can feel like having your uniform glued to your body.
The solution is organizational clarity. In the governance meeting, we define roles that pursue the purpose of the organization. We can trust and use those definitions day-to-day to help guide our decisions. Organizational clarity frees us to be a good leader when we’re filling a role and need to balance input with speed. It frees us to be a good follower when another role owns a decision and shuts down discussion to make a judgment call.
Here are some more suggestions for how to bring clarity to your day-to-day work:
- When a discussion seems to take forever, ask: “Is it clear which role holds the authority to make this decision?”
- When lots of people are pulled into a meeting (or email chain), ask: “Which roles need to be involved and why?”
By practicing the habit of naming the role that feels the tension, you get into the habit of asking if your roles should be involved in a meeting, or cc’d in an email. You also practice asking yourself if a problem is something that one of your roles cares about, or if it’s something (salary, career development, etc.) you need to deal with as a person.
- Your Virtual Holacracy Coaches
Remember: Roles help clarify decision-making. So if you want someone to take action, then you’ll want to refer to the roles in Glassfrog.
That said, what do you do when you just want to talk to a person? Not a role, just person-to-person?
If you want to get some input from an experienced colleague, you can say something like, “Hey Tom, I wanted to get your opinion…not in a role, just as a person.” Or write, “To Tom (as Tom)…”
And if you feel compelled to share information, and the other person is clear on their authority, then you probably don’t need to refer to roles.
GlassFrog users on the Premium Plan can access our Holacracy Habits Support Program.
Need help upgrading to Premium? Want free support migrating to GlassFrog from another role-based software? Contact us.