It’s Not About You, Per Se

Here you are, in a situation you don’t want to be in, listening to your boss pointing out a few things he noticed. The team you lead may have experienced some bumps in the recent sprint, several unplanned tasks or blockers causing noticeable delays in the project. Problems may have occurred in the development environment, or some members of the group may have fallen ill or may have had family emergencies. Miscommunication between team members may have transpired because of tasks with incomplete requirements or they not being aligned with each other caused the progress to slow down a bit. What happened was no one’s fault really and you did what you could but you’re here taking everything and it feels like you’re being blamed, accepting bullets that you think shouldn’t be fired towards you in the first place. It’s an uncomfortable place to be because it feels like you’re being scolded.

Except that (often) you are not being reprimanded. What’s happening is a conversation and your boss is merely pointing out what he sees and letting you know about it, because you lead the team. He’s just showing you key areas where your group most likely need to work on next time, even if it doesn’t feel like it. He’s giving lessons which you must digest carefully and he’s giving it to you because he knows that you understand your team far better than him. The talk that’s happening now between you and your boss is not about you per se, but about your ability to influence your teammates, towards becoming a more remarkable group than you are now.

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