Stop / Start / Continue
As part of my upcoming book, “How to be a Kick Ass Project Manager”, I advise project managers to know their flaws. If you want to grow and improve, you have to take an honest look in the mirror. What I have found is that our self-assessment of our strengths and weaknesses does not necessarily align with reality.
This is a fantastic exercise to do with your teams, stakeholders, and even personally with your spouse or family. I absolutely love it’s power and it’s simplicity.
Ask your intended audience:
- What are three things you would like me to stop doing?
- What are three things you would like me to start doing?
- What are three things you would like me to continue doing?
This is an incredible revealing exercise with multiple benefits:
- The fact that you are asking for feedback demonstrates your commitment to the team and to your self-development, earning you leadership points
- You will harvest incredibly valuable information about simple things that can make a big difference to your team: happy team, happy project, happy stakeholders
- Your follow-up on these actions will inspire your team to trust you and recognize your commitment to them
I had recently assumed responsibility for a team that had weathered some pretty difficult times and circumstances. They were frustrated, distrustful, and less than thrilled that I was coming in as their new manager. After a few months in my role, I did the stop/start/continue exercise with them. They chose to do it as a team and I was really impressed and surprised with the feedback:
- Staying in your office with the door closed in the morning
- Multi-tasking during meetings
- Staying late on Friday
- Socializing with us a bit in the morning
- Taking lunch breaks
- Asking for help
- Learning about each of us, personally and professionally
- Having our backs and being proud to be our leader
- Being a creative problem solver with a great “can-do” attitude
I was very surprised with the results and had I taken a guess at what they would say, I guarantee it would be none of these things. Once I addressed the items on the list, our relationships grew and productivity increased.
Let me know if you use this tool and share the results you get!
Many times when we try to assess ourselves it ends up being inaccurate , we may sometimes end up stopping things we should continue and start things we shouldn’t. This exercise seems like a great way to get to know the actual things we need to work on and improve.