5 techniques to help instigate positive change

Friday 8th April 2016

Last week while at UX in the city (@uxinthecity) I was fortunate enough to attend Spencer Turner’s (@spencerturner) workshop on “Be the change you seek - 5 techniques to help you instigate change”. As an interesting and thought provoking workshop I wanted to share the 5 techniques to help instigate positive change.

1. Get to know your team

We are all much more than our job titles. We have interests, achievements and ambitions which may have drawn each of us into our roles and help us to excel at them. Make time to get together and get to know each of your team members, not as job rolls but as people. This doesn’t have to be an expensive team bonding trip (though a trip to Milan does sound good). A pub lunch once a month or plan specific workshops to build team relationships can be just as effective and gives the team an opportunity to socialise.

No real reason for adding this picture, just think it’s cute.

2. Empower and Trust your team

As an Agile team, your team should be empowered to make decisions in order to ensure that it is their responsibility to deliver the product and that they have complete ownership. It ensures the buy-in and commitment from the entire project team from the outset. When challenges arise in the project, the team feels a real sense of ownership. By asking the team “what do you need to do your best work?” You can start to understand, show empathy towards your team and empower them to strive to do their best work.

3. Celebrate Failure; to learn from it

Trying and failing at something is no fun. It leads to disappointments and makes us withdraw from opportunities. By celebrating our failures we are able to learn from them and continue to grow and succeed. One way of achieving this is by running a “failure swapshop workshop”. The format is as follows:

  • Introduce yourself in this way: “Hi my name’s X and I failed”
  • Explain the failure (personal or professional)
  • Summarise the lesson learned in a few words

The two rules are:

  • Other people's failures should not leave the room. However the lessons learnt should; this gives people the confidence to share professional and personal failures.
  • Everyone Cheers and Claps at the right point

4. Communicate visually

Visual communications is one of the most important ways that people communicate. Think of icons and symbols such as road signs, maps and even toilet signs; allowing people to communicate across different languages. When communicating information consider if it would be better provided as an image, be that a drawing or photo or a graph.

Visual communication Ad (http://themesdojo.com/metro/?portfolio=123123)

5. Take time to listen

Listening actively shows that you’re interested in what someone has to say. You may have heard about active and passive listening. Passive listen is when we are listening to hear, where as active listening is where we are listening to understand; you should try to do the latter. Actively listening allows you to engage in what is being said, focusing on what is being discussed and not what you are going to say in response.


by Lloyd Sutton (@lloydsutton)

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