How to have 1:1 conversations after you have implemented Quan
As a Team Lead, your main responsibility in relation to team well-being is to hold space for open and honest conversations, without taking responsibility for, or trying to solve, everyone else's problems for them.
As a Team Lead, you’re hopefully having regular check-ins with your team members. This is likely where the majority of your well-being conversations have taken place. At Quan, we hear regularly from our users that they find it helpful to use their individual well-being reports in conversations with their manager. This may also apply to some or all members of your team.
Our primary piece of advice is to stay within your role. You are a manager, not a therapist. If someone does share their individual well-being results with you, first and foremost, practice active listening. This means restraining yourself from giving advice or trying to solve their personal problems.
In practice it looks like:
- listening to understand rather than responding,
- asking open-ended questions,
- making eye contact,
- and restraining yourself from giving your opinion or advice.
There will be people who overshare.
When events in your team’s personal lives are negatively impacting them, it’s important to listen and empathize - after all, this is the same person coming to work - but set a boundary in your mind and draw on the Quan framework as your guide.
This boundary can look something like:
“It sounds like your personal life is causing you a lot of stress. What can I do to help you that is within my capacity as your Team Lead?”
Framing the conversation like this will show that you are listening, you acknowledge their struggle, and you are willing to help within your capacity.
Don’t push people to share more details than they freely offer, usually people just want to be heard and acknowledged.
Ultimately, if your team members cannot get answers to their problems from you, you will inspire them to seek relevant help elsewhere, for example, from a mental health professional.
Use the Quan framework
With those team members who don’t share anything about their well-being - don’t worry. Use the Quan framework and the team results as a way to gain more understanding of their situation without digging.
For example, that could be by asking:
“So in our team well-being retro we saw a lot of our team members seem to be struggling with concentration this past month - how has it been for you?”
This is a less-invasive way to encourage more insights into what is happening with your team members and how you can support them.
Plus, this meaningful check-in is nothing new. You’ve practiced it already in your team well-being retro.
Continue practicing this conversation tactic at the beginning of your one-on-one’s, for example, as a way to introduce the topic of well-being into the conversation instead of the typical “how are you?” or “how are things going?” type questions - especially now that you can refer back to your team results as a way to kick off the conversation.