pillars-197x320One of the pillars of the Eureka Leadership™ model is the concept of ‘Give them Structure’.

What does that mean exactly?  It can mean a lot of things.  It’s about boundaries, but it isn’t necessarily about constraints.  Your team needs to know what you need from them and also that you demonstrate an understanding of what they need from you.

Boundaries give an individual some sense of where it’s ok to play.  When I have some boundaries in place, then, as your team member, I’m more comfortable playing within those boundaries. I’m more creative, more engaged, more productive and more focused because of that certainty, that clarity.

Recently, this was demonstrated to me on a course I completed in Melbourne. The facilitator (essentially, my leader for the two days) was very present and very clear in articulating and communicating the boundaries, both from an unconscious and a conscious perspective.  That gave us (as his team) a greater sense of control of our world, which meant we were able to function better as a team and achieve the outcomes that he needed us to achieve and that we needed to achieve.

This facilitator was excellent in his communication style and tested his assumptions regularly about our understanding of the structure.  It was an elegant demonstration of using assumptions well, and not assuming that ‘we are on the same page’ about boundaries, which can lead to confusion, unhelpful ambiguity, unnecessary anxiety and reduced productivity.

How can you ensure you are giving them structure?

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate.  If you aren’t sure whether you’ve been clear enough, then test your assumptions again — don’t guess.
  2. Once you’ve established boundaries, make sure that you stick to the rules you set for others.
  3. Do what you can to make the structure a helpful boundary, not an unhelpful constraint. (For example, make sure your team has the resources to play within the space of their boundaries).