BLUF:  is it effective to let your team know the behaviors you are working on so they can help you with conscious incompetence. 

As a high D i am working on improving my EQ with more people focus and less task focus. I was pondering if sharing this with colleagues in a project environment will enable them To help me with my blind spots and let me know when I become to task focused.

Anyone have any views.

scm2423's picture

The people around you can be a great resource in helping you make changes.  I do not know how wide spread I would cast the net and tell people about the changes you are making and giving them permission to call you on becoming too task oriented.  I just would not want it to interfere with the actual work that needs to be done.  How about talking to two or three people you can trust to honestly call you on this.  Also I do not know if I would want them to stop you in the middle of a meeting or conversation, but they could talk to you after their observation and let you know what they saw both good and bad.   



pegman's picture


what about talking openly at the commencement of a project as to what you would like help and support on. For example 'please let me know if you find I am too task focussed and not working well with you on a personal level'?

jrb3's picture
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I've come across one way to do this in a team context: the Core Protocols of the McCarthys' "Software for Your Head".  It's aimed specifically at technical teams, having been refined at Microsoft to quickly form high-performing software development teams.  I introduced it to my Toastmasters club via

I've used pieces of it as part of some very-highly-performing software teams.  Each team held to an equivalent of the Core Commitment and worked out equivalents of those Core Protocols we didn't use explicitly.

Check "Personal Alignment" at for what I think is the most relevant piece for you, Pegman.  You should be able to figure out some wording which will be effective for you.  Perhaps ask for some signal, like a cough or raised eyebrows flashed in a pattern, or a brief comment passed peer-feedback-style and low volume, like "hey, you seem over-focused to me right now".

Underpinning the whole scheme is conscious and voluntary commitment to mutual respect, trust, and support between peers within a team.  You can offer up the whole scheme to your directs to consider, but it's not something I believe which can be imposed.  As their manager, you're *not* part of the team, but you can join in their use of the protocols, augmenting your use of the Manager Tools trinity in supporting them.

-- Joseph

GlennR's picture

Perhaps because I'm a boomer used to a hierarchical organization or an introvert, but I would not share this except after careful thought in the way that SCM2423 describes above. The downside to this is the potential loss of respect. I just don't see doing this for my supervisors, past or present, even if they had encouraged it.

On a separate note, thanks Joseph, for the link to that book. I'll check it out along and revisit others such as The 5 Dysfunctions of Teams.


“You can’t behave in a calm, rational manner; you’ve got to be out there on the lunatic fringe.”

                              --Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric

pegman's picture

 Thanks all,

am I ignorant in thinking that being honest with an area of improvement I am exposing myself?

jrb3's picture
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The goodness of exposure comes from the context.  It's much easier, and far less disruptive, when those around you are supportive of your efforts to improve.  Some people in my life are ... resistant ... to my own efforts to improve my professional skills, which certainly makes things more difficult than they need to be.  I don't let them know of certain work I'm doing until I'm done, so I can apply my precious energy to improving myself rather than countering obstacles they throw up.

In the workplace, this attitude of "for me to win, you've got to lose" usually have bad consequences for you, others around, the instigator (not often enough for justice though :-), and the organization as a whole.  That's why Manager Tools stresses to get rid of directs who tear down the team or people on the team.

In high-performing teams, the foundation of respect and trust allows for much easier and more visible mutual support among peers.  Outside of such teams, make agreement with a few select people who share that respect and trust with you.  Unlike family, you get to choose your supporters.  One good supporter can be enough to give you the timely feedback you desire.

This support is voluntary and should have as little other potential conflict as you can make.  The "I'm your boss" dynamic generally makes it difficult to have directs provide this support.  There's less of the power issues with a supportive peer, especially one outside your part of the organization.

-- Joseph

pegman's picture

 That is very insightful. Some people do think it is a zero sum game.

it may be prudent that I simply cherry pick a few directs.