Have you ever experienced some of these situations while being in a team?
Your team is working on projects that don’t seem to go through, despite the collective effort.
You endure endless meetings with no clear outputs on what the next steps should be.
You experience difficulties within your team to agree and align with each other, and there’s no commitment to action.
To fix these issues, the team’s leader usually decides to focus harder on the things to be done, that generally means more action plans, more follow up, more pressure and less consensus on the actions adopted by the team.
These actions often result on even more disengagement and frustration, making things even worst.
The secret to getting out of these situations is switching the focus from the team’s tasks to the team itself.
By paying attention to the team’s dynamics and the behaviour of the team members, you can strive to:
Ignite positive energy to boost movement and a sense of urgency
Taking some time to bring positive energy to your team pays off.
To build positive energy within your team:
o Identify where the negativity is coming from and act on it. Examine the emotions that both the individual and the team are feeling, are they afraid or angry? Do they feel like their opinion is not important? Do they have other priorities?
o Build agreement on purpose. Revisit with the team members the reasons for the previous difficulties. Why is the project important for the team, for the company? What are the benefits? What will be its impact?
o Be sure to get everyone’s involvement. It means that you are creating a space where every team member is willing to participate and contribute.
Identify the questions that bring alignment and commitment
Working together on the right questions instead of jumping straight to the answers allows the team to engage with the project, build consensus and create alignment. By adopting these routines, you engage the team in the dynamics:
o Explore together the different paths to reach the team’s goals, evaluate alternatives, work in different scenarios to create a common understanding of the problem that needs to be solved.
o Model active listening and create a common space where team members are comfortable in challenging each other and themselves.
o Make the key questions the starting point for finding the right answers. Work together as a team to identify and agree on the questions that need to be resolved.
Celebrate the small wins and build momentum
Tracking progress allows the team to celebrate the small wins. It’s important because it builds momentum and willpower. It’s also important to incorporate the learnings from what hasn’t worked. Recognizing both, what’s working and what’s not, helps the team find its path and become stronger.
o Measure progress by identifying the right indicators. Pay attention to what you measure and what you don’t.
o Find what is positive in each situation and learn about it as a team. Avoid identifying who is to blame and focus on the ‘why’ of wrong decisions and/or actions.
o Invest time in celebrating the small wins and building momentum. Make sure that the team has fun and keeps learning!
By following these rules, you get rid of your team’s obstacles and at the same time your team is becoming stronger.
In the end the principle is simple:
Good teams achieve good results!