“There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”
It happens often - something new comes up and it sounds exciting and we totally want to be involved. But we don’t always sense check what that involvement actually means. Are we really ‘all in’ or are we just keen to know what’s happening? How committed are we really?
I have created this simple tool to gauge someone’s level of commitment, which we include as part of our Nomad8 company handbook. The definitions for each level act as a personal conscience; how committed are we really to this thing? Commitment is rarely a binary “‘would you like to be involved, ‘yes’ or ‘no’?”.
By talking through the scale out loud, it allows us to think through and make an honest and considered commitment with our colleagues.
The scale and associated set of definitions we use for the tool are:
0: WTF?! Why are we even doing this?
1: Out - I hope it happens but I don’t want to get involved
2: Curious - I am curious and will watch from afar
3: Interested: I am interested and want to be kept informed, happy to help bounce some ideas
4: Supportive - I want to see this happen, I will support and commit time, but I don’t want to lead
5: Committed - I am all in and want to make this happen. I will lead and do whatever it takes!
How we use it...
The next time you commit to something or want to be involved in a movement, be explicit about your level of commitment. Let people know what they can expect from you.
In a pair
Just ask someone where they are on the scale, when you look to collaborate on something (or ask yourself!)
In a group
Use the Fist of Five voting technique popularised by Jean Tabaka. The technique corresponds to the commitment scale and used in this way it allows a group to define the level of commitment of its members - rather than assuming or deciding on a consensus. This can be used at both a pair and larger group basis.
You could also use a Post It check, for a larger group setting, by putting the scale and definitions on the wall, and getting people to put their names against the corresponding numbers, as pictured below. Thanks Tony O’Halloran for the approach!
If you give it a try let me know how you get on, I'd love to hear about it.
Categories: Agile Coaching.