How has V-Teamwork helped you develop as a contributor?
Since doing the program I am now really good at ‘closing the loop’ on my commitments. It’s quite powerful: I promise people what I’m going to deliver by when and when I deliver it I say “as promised”. This has deepened people’s trust in my decisions so we get things done faster.
It’s better in the other direction too. I’ve changed the way I approach asking for things. I’ve developed a strong habit of checking with people that they clearly understand the value of what I am asking for.
This extends to my team: I pay a lot more attention to how people on my team go about getting what they need. Before V-Teamwork I operated a lot more transactionally and so did the people around me. Now, I notice when people are asking for things that the other person doesn’t really understand. And I have the skill and inclination to step in smoothly and ask a simple question or two to clarify people’s understanding.
I think V-Teamwork gave me a really good jolt: don’t just work at the surface level, go that little bit deeper, ask that little more to clarify, be that little bit more explicit, ask other people to be a little more explicit…on a big project like this it saves a lot of time.
Something else: In V-Teamwork we worked in a virtual simulation, so for much of the time I couldn’t see the faces of the people I was working with. I learned to become more sensitive to the tone, pacing, responsiveness in people’s voices, and more aware of what was going on in the coordination and mood of the team. Now, in my real-world work where I’m face-to-face, that increased sensitivity pays off: the nonverbal information and the nuances of the way we work together is so much richer for me.
My ‘sense of the meeting’ is stronger. I’m better at picking up when people aren’t ‘getting it’, so I take an extra minute of time to understand the situation, or ask the extra question. I find myself jumping in with questions like: “does anyone have another way to look at this?” “Are we missing anything here?”
The payoff is big: in this kind of project a small mistake undetected can have a huge cost. There have been plenty of occasions where we’ve avoided two weeks wasted work on the wrong task. That’s a pretty big saving in terms of cost and frustration.