Introduction to the Clean Slate Process:
The Clean Slate process ensures that every team’s effectiveness remains as pristine as it was on Day 1 of its formation. The focus of this process is “people first” and then discover how the forces and dynamics of a team enable or inhibit the ability of a team to keep its slate(s) clean?
The objective of the clean slate process is to help the team members earn and maintain a high level of trust and loyalty in the team. If the assumption is that the members of the team were willing to be part of an inner circle of trust and loyalty then the task of the leader is to ensure that everyone remains inside the circle always.
Easier said than done!
1. Team members acknowledge that it is natural to have professional disagreements during the work week. They understand that they may say or act in a manner that drives others out of the inner circle. Similarly, others may have said or acted in a manner that drives them out of the inner circle.
2. The team agrees to have an event (with a fixed time, venue, duration) to allow team members to “clean their slates” with everyone on the team. (I prefer Fridays for clean slate events)
3. The goal of this event is to ensure that no one leaves the office on a Friday with “baggage” that will walk back in with them on Monday.
4. We start with each team member opening up and sharing with every member on the team his or her positive feedback and a constructive feedback for them.
5. The team does this for a few weeks until everyone becomes comfortable with this process and finds safety in being authentic always. (In my experience the first few clean slate sessions are usually uncomfortable for everyone.)
6. The team keeps the dialogue open and honest and yet remains considerate and professional. (courage + grace)
1. Team understands the forces of their situation and how they influence the ability of a team to maintain a Clean Slate always.
2. Team looks at inter personal dynamics to develop a deeper understanding of how they relate to one another (usually the cause for a clean slate event)
3. Team does instant clean slate as and when really needed to allow team members the freedom to operate as naturally as they can.