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Role retrospectives

I’ve been at my current client for roughly a month. The role isn’t clear, but I’m here to serve, lead and coach the team and business. I decided to perform a retrospective to gain more clarity on what the team needed from me in the role.

Quite a simple idea, ask the team two questions:

  1. what they like about what I’m doing to help them and,
  2. what they’d like to see change, or start doing, to help them further.

I decided to send an email rather than run a session. Why email? Well, the team aren’t too sure about talking openly (the team is about 25 strong). They are unsure about what my role is. And they seem very perplexed by the fact I don’t act like a traditional manager. So I chose email to give them the chance to reflect on what they wanted from the role. They could be open and honest, bluntly so if they wanted to be.

About a third of the team has fed back so far, and in general, the suggestions have been practical in nature. What has surprised me is that the people who have chosen to reply to the email are not necessarily those who would have spoken out in a room. Even in small groups.

Overall I feel this has gone well. I have concrete suggestions I can act on to help improve the productivity of the team, and hopefully, the team will understand as a servant leader a bit more. Definitely an experiment to try again here and with future clients.

For top tips on retrospectives, check out How to facilitate a Retrospective when the team lacks psychological safety
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