Blurred image of Margate beach

How to provide clarity without showing the whole picture

Sometimes it can be hard to provide clarity, especially when you're not totally clear about things yourself. When leading on a project should I be the one creating the clarity or should I be supporting and coaching others to find their own?

Diving into a new strategic project that was similar to another very recent one I thought that I could take the method I had used previously, swap the context and that would give me a great head start. It didn’t work. While I knew where things were heading I’d made a basic error, forgetting that those close to this new project hadn’t been as involved in the previous one anywhere near as much as me. This was also one of those projects where there were different views on how to progress. The sticking point was around timing. On one side there was a desire for a clear set of features that could neatly be placed on a roadmap, for engineers to start building now. I don’t like working with teams where designers design things for engineers to build or where engineers just build what designers hand them. I like everyone to be part of the journey, to fully understand the problem we’re trying to solve, working together to find the best solutions. I like to see individuals use their expertise to challenge and inform. 

Photo by Dereck Johnson on Von Dirk

Latest thoughts

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Do/Pause Workshop

Last year I attended the one day Do Pause workshop and it has proved to be one of the most valuable events I’ve ever attended and Robert Poynton is a superb facilitator. The day left me with a whole host of practical things I could put into practice straight away, along with deeper things to take away to think about. Over the year since the workshop, I’ve been practising many of the lessons learned, introducing different pauses, all of which I’ve felt has provided me with a slower, more thoughtful way to see things.