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Play of the month: Take the time to *really* check in with your team (and yourself!)

Kristen Roth Atlassian Team Oct 15, 2020

Hello, Team Playbook fans!

Do you really know how everyone on your team is doing right now? And while we’re on the subject, have you taken the time to check in with yourself? The past year has impacted you and your teammates in unique ways. Taking time to understand and share an individual’s situation has never been more important.

We’ve identified three Work Life Impact areas to reflect on that play a big part in how you show up to your virtual workplace every day. As you share your reflections with your team, you’ll build empathy among the group and identify the support you not only need to provide, but the support you need to receive.

Here's an example of the Work Life Impact Play in action:

WL  impacct.jpg

By the end of the exercise, you’ll each have identified opportunities for change that will help the whole team thrive.

Feeling inspired to give this a try with your team? Let us know how it goes and share your experience here with other Team Playbook fans. We'd love to hear from you!  

Be well,

the Team Playbook team


Brant Schroeder Community Leader Oct 27, 2020

I think this is more relevant now with so many of us working remotely.  

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Kristen Roth Atlassian Team Oct 27, 2020

Absolutely, @Brant Schroeder. Let us know if you end up running the Play with your team!

Laura Holton Community Leader May 10, 2021

It definitely is @Brant Schroeder!

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My team needs to run this play! We have staff coming back from furlough in the U.K so it will be a great way to check in with everyone.

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Kristen Roth Atlassian Team Nov 02, 2020

Definitely, @Stuart Capel - London ! Be sure to let us know how it goes! 

I think me to be longtime interrview with you about my inspiration which is to get the appropriate English learning framework for a decent teaching for chadian youngs and so my training with AIU .

Altogether it's there my first concern for 2021 year.


Dave Liao Community Leader Dec 01, 2020

"Assume positive intent" is an important part of the play. Even if it wasn't the year that shouldn't be named, it's easy for folks to fall into the trap of paranoia or cynicism during exercises like these, especially if they're not the norm in their organization. 😉

In the example worksheet, I love that "Tilly" wrote, "only six months in so it still feels like I'm onboarding!" Ah, we can all relate...

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Kristen Roth Atlassian Team Dec 02, 2020

That's such a great callout, @Dave Liao

Right! Certainly an odd year for all of us. Especially for those who started new jobs!

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I know this was a challenge for October, but it seems like this is something we should always reflect and what better time than the start of a new year!  So glad I found this, and plan to give it a try as part of our first 2021 retrospective.

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Awesome, @Marianne Miller . Definitely a great way to kick off the new year! Hope the Play goes well with your team. We'd love to hear all about it! 

Just curious to know how impact is changed 1 year ago, 6 month ago and now. 

Personally me, starting to think about office. 

Like Kristen Roth likes this
Kristen Roth Atlassian Team May 05, 2021

It would be definitely be interesting to look at results from this Play at each those different time periods, @Gonchik Tsymzhitov .

John Funk Community Leader May 05, 2021

This is actually a really good idea with life in general. REALLY doing a check in with your spouse or loved ones on a frequent basis as well as remember to check on offsite coworkers, friends, etc. 

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@John Funk  Interesting, do you have some observation results? 

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Kristen Roth Atlassian Team May 05, 2021

Absolutely, @John Funk !

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G subramanyam Community Leader May 10, 2021

Million thanks @Kristen Roth for the link and brief about the work-life-impact. I'm going to explore this in my new and upcoming project.

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Kristen Roth Atlassian Team May 10, 2021

Absolutely, @G subramanyam !

Like G subramanyam likes this

Need to try this ! Especially working remote must have

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Sudarshan Community Leader May 13, 2021

good one @Kristen Roth 

we have been trying such things in a different form (like casual calls, virtual coffee talks..etc...)
but something like this could make it more quantitative and can give more insights and impact to move on in certain aspects.

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Kristen Roth Atlassian Team May 20, 2021

It definitely does, @Sudarshan . Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

Nice article!

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Jack Brickey Community Leader May 24, 2021

Thanks for sharing. Great food for thought.

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M Amine Community Leader May 30, 2021

Thank you for this

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DPKJ Community Leader Jul 01, 2021

Cool! Let me check in my team.

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I think this will be an important play to run regularly if your team (like mine) is permanently remote. "Working from home" is an ongoing process and an ongoing challenge. 

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The last 15 months makes it difficult to really see the effects of stress on colleagues. You can not see body language and facial expressions on zoom as well as you can in person. As a Manager it is vitally important that I look after my staff.

If I ask someone how they're doing, the stock answer is more than likely, "OK thanks" or "Not bad". I try to get into the habit of repeating the question again by asking, "No. Really how are you?" It often starts a more in depth conversation that can start to bring out issues you can address.

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Kristen Roth Atlassian Team Jul 13, 2021

This is a great tip, @Colum McAndrew. Thank you for sharing! 

Cool cool cool ;)

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Very interesting now, with remote work!

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Svenja Rising Star Aug 03, 2021

Thank you @Kristen Roth for sharing this great Team Play! I'm definitley feeling inspired to give it a try!

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Kristen Roth Atlassian Team Aug 03, 2021

Glad to hear that, @Svenja !

Is this something we have to do together in a team?

I personally would see me + my boss in some discussion about work life impact, because some things are maybe something I don't want to share withy my team members.

Like Kristen Roth likes this

It could be both, depending on the circumstances. As a manager I want my team to perform, but that takes each individual to do the same. If you ignore one over the other, you won't achieve either. Having 121s with my staff allows us to talk openly about issues, give each other feedback, and plan for the future. You can do this as part of a team (e.g. in retrospectives) but the objectives are different.

Like Kristen Roth likes this

I wish I had seen this playbook much sooner. But I don't think it's too late to try it out! 

Does anyone have suggestions on if this was helpful weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly? 


Like Kristen Roth likes this

Hi Brittany.

There is no "one size fits all" solution I'm afraid. How you do it depends on your circumstances. For example, I lead a team spread over three locations and time zones. Even those of us based out of the same location haven't met in person since the pandemic hit at the start of 2020. This makes it harder to catch up with them. there are no opportunities for those chats whilst making a cup of coffee or over lunch.

Our solution? We block off 30 minutes twice a week, so we can all meet online. There is no agenda for the meeting, apart from one rule... talking about work is banned. Whether it is a Monday morning or Thursday evening, those that want to get together and talk about whatever they want. It has proved very popular. Try it.

Like # people like this
Fabian Lim Community Leader Oct 02, 2021

We'll give this one a try since we are still all working remotely.

Like Kristen Roth likes this

Thanks, this is one I am adding to my site.

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I wish I had seen this a year ago. I would've brought this up with the team I was on at the time. It would've helped out a ton.

Kristen Roth Atlassian Team Nov 03, 2021

Bummer you didn't see it in time, @Clint Young ! Maybe it's something you can try with the team you're on now?


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