Consider Striking A Fair Balance Between Inclusion And Pressure

Rowan Blair Colver
4 min readMar 8, 2021


Lucid Leadership Rowan B Colver

Environment And Stress Matter

Getting the most out of our team means giving them a suitable workload and a good environment to carry it out in. We can give people in our team the tools they need and the level of technical knowledge required, we can give them an agenda and ask them to put it into action. Often we can be confident in our people to carry out what is asked in a professional and proper way. When we look to building our team and sharing responsibilities, it’s often a good idea to include the members of the team from the beginning. Distributing the work in ways that put decisions in the hand of the whole can lead to employees feeling more valued and empowered. This has a liberating effect that can boost overall productivity.

It’s Your Job To Take The Strain

There is a time when too much responsibility can make an employee unhappy. Perhaps they feel that you are asking to do things that are your responsibility and not theirs or they have a busy schedule already and extra input isn’t available. There can be a point where we no longer help someone by giving them a broader scope in the team. It can have the opposite effect on their work, team members who feel burdened or pressured can stop being effective. We naturally feel the most comfortable in an area of expertise and responsibility that suits us and it’s from here that we thrive. Changing this for the sake of building character might undermine confidence. Things need to be considered beyond the general desired outcome for the team.

Shared Power Is Efficient

When leaders share their power with the team by including them in decision making and for taking key roles in service delivery, the team has the potential to run with more autonomy and with faster responses. We also open the door for more mistakes and differences of opinion. Leaders have to choose which people fit the best roles and who can be relied on to adhere to the given policies. Working with the public requires a lot of professional skills in social communication and formality. Working on a desk requires self-autonomy and good organisation.

Morale Means More

The morale of a team is related to how well they look after one another. A team with high spirits will take care of its members and build strong social relationships between them. This is congruent with performance and the shared responsibility of the service is carried by the whole. When morale is low the individual members are more likely to be concerned with their own priorities. We can only carry so much at a time and if we are already at full capacity with our own troubles then we have little space for anyone else’s.

When the team is appropriately managed and everyone is given a role they can be confident with, the morale is naturally higher. It then brings out a stronger side to the team where good ideas and diverse thinking flow from a confident source. If we don’t feel confident and safe to express our input, the level of new thinking decreases significantly. This is because it takes a warm and comfortable social environment to fully build novelty and ingenuity.

Let Go Of Control

The level of self-control a team member feels is directly related to their morale and therefore effectiveness. Team members want to be able to take control of their specialised areas and have other specialists handle the other things. Sometimes by offering them too much choice in an area they are not trained or experienced in they can react with lower morale. Confidence can fall and quickly follows productivity. Balancing between giving team members power and giving them instruction depends on the individual and what they feel confident with. Perhaps their confidence and ability are not aligned, and this can be an issue.

Communicate And Relate

Communication is therefore important. We have to find out for ourselves if an employee or team member is happy with their current level of work. If they are not, it will have an effect on their input and output. We can get to know the team by doing group activities outside of the routine and by having regular one on one meetings to discuss growth and building. We have to offer training in areas people want to work in but don’t yet have the right skills, and we need to build confidence where expertise is strong but the individual hasn’t experienced it in practice. It requires a lot of skill and subtle change to fully align a team with the appropriate level of empowerment and freedom. Everyone is different and has a personality suited for particular things. A leader needs to have the eyes to spot the differences and the foresight to know how to use them.

Recommended Read: The Servant Leader: How to Build a Creative Team, Develop Great Morale, and Improve Bottom-Line Performance



Rowan Blair Colver

Music writer and humanities educator from Sheffield in England. Democracy of philosophy, comments are welcome.