Building autonomous teams

Things to avoid to improve autonomy

Autonomy is a tough subject. And once you and your team get better at it, the work doesn’t stop. There will always be unexpected or stressful situations that occur, which can push leaders to focus on more controlling measures.

Be mindful of these common pitfalls that managers may encounter during times of stress:

  • Pushing your ideas onto others
  • Relying more heavily on intensity and adrenaline
  • Micromanaging the team

Lastly, avoid praise or rewarding behavior that goes against the values you wish to instill. If you’re trying to build autonomy, then be sure you’re publicly recognizing and rewarding those autonomous actions. Whether you’re rewarding that new employee who led a project all on their own, or another manager for coaching a team to be self-sufficient, focus on the things you want to see more of from others in the company. 

Finally, it’s important to hold yourself accountable and have the team do the same for you. Make sure that level of autonomy that you agreed upon earlier isn’t broken due to unexpected situations. Following these guidelines, and being transparent with your team on how to  build that autonomy, will lead all of you to success.

Copy link