The Positive Functions of a Team

My last post was about high performing teams, however I wanted to talk about teams that aren’t at that stage or are having challenges.

Patrick Lencioni’s Book the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team is an extremely useful reference, however, one slight issue is with its termanology when used with in a session. As soon as the word ‘dysfunctional’ is used with a team you can almost see the barriers coming up.

So flip it around and talk about the Positive Functions of a team

  • Building trust— how to be vulnerable and offer support within the group
  • The impact of constructive conflict—seeking constructive passionate debate
  • Personal commitment— Exhibiting true buy-in for group decisions with action and advocacy
  • Transparent accountability— Agreeing team behavioral values and robust roles and responsibilities
  • Celebrating / Enhancing results—focusing on personal success and team success / As a group indentifying what needs to be better and how to take action as a team

Some businesses will build in Key Performance Indicators etc to try and remedy this and some success can be gained from this, however, it can be seen as a tick box exercise at reviews or traded against other performance results e.g. I am the top salesperson…

In order to see a profound effect actions and agreements need to come from the team also:

  • Any discussions / exercises need to be explicit that this is not about blame it is about taking the team to the next level
  • A skilled impartial facilitator will help discussions; where possible it shouldn’t be the boss facilitating
  • Confidentiality within the team must be explicit
  • Make it interactive with short sessions
  • Give yourself more time than you need and ensure that each area gets the time it needs, however ensure that discussion doesn’t go round in circles
  • Agree rules of feedback and format e.g. has to Balanced, objective and specific, (hotseat feedback on the day or confidential questionaires before event)
  • Ensure clear and measurable actions are captured
  • Review impact regularly

Tips - Just a few free ideas to get you started on addressing the different elements.Full explanations of how to run these would take a few pages!

Building trust— how to be vulnerable and offer support within the group

Get team to do personal SWOT analysis (anomously, number each one) and ask the team to match up their perceived weakness and threats with strengths and opportunites on other SWOT sheets

The impact of constructive conflict—seeking constructive passionate debate

I really like Thomas Klinman Conflict styles as it raises awareness of personal conflict styles

Personal commitment— Exhibiting true buy-in for group decisions with action and advocacy

Ask team to write suggestions on post its of how remove ambiguity and make better decisions that gain commitment

Transparent accountability— Agreeing team behavioral values and robust roles and responsibilities

Get the team to write down their top 5 personal values at work e.g. honesty, trust etc

Then get them ‘grafitti’ style to write them on a flipchart then task them to List the group top 7 or 10 values in the team. Then discuss how they can bring this to life in the team

Celebrating / Enhancing results—focusing on personal success and team success / As a group indentifying what needs to be better and how to take action as a team

Ask the team to come up with 5 commitments that will help them focus on personal and team results

Always happy to hear comments around your own experiences or thoughts on the post.

Hope you have a great weekend

Some helpful links for 5 Dysfunctions of a Team

http://www.tablegroup.com/

https://www.cpp.com/pdfs/mbti-lencioni-guide.pdf

www.tablegroup.com/dysfunctions/the_five_dysfunctions.pdf

The Sisyphus Trap

‘In Greek mythology was a king punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity.’

‘In experiments that test how workers respond when the meaning of their task is diminished, the test condition is referred to as the Sisyphusian condition. The two main conclusions of the experiment are that people work harder when their work seems more meaningful, and that people underestimate the relationship between meaning and motivation’

Sometimes as individuals and leaders we fall into this trap, we tried to change things and it didn’t work, this caused us to be fearful so we resolved not to let that happen again and took the safe route. We make compromises with our values, we start saying things like ‘another day another dollar’ (or equivalent currency), ‘I wish I had a job that I enjoyed’

I wish means: wouldn’t it be nice if … If you always make the right decision, the safe decision, the one most people make, you will be the same as everyone else. Always wishing life was different. (just like Sisphus) Paul Arden

In fact our brain is hardwired to seek stability and not change as it takes more energy to build new synapsis that are required to retain new information and ways of doing things. Don’t believe me, then think back to when you had to study some new process or qualification, did you feel tired?

To start avoiding the Sisyphus Trap you need to consider

Values & Beliefs Attitude Behaviour

Your values and beliefs influence your attitude and these manifests in your behaviour to yourself and others. When you compromise these too much your attitude will become less positive and this will affect your behaviour.

So step 1 is for you to identify your values e.g. honesty, being creative, team player, recognition, autonomy etc.

Then look at how many you have given up in your current work / home environment. Then plan how you can start to overcome barriers to being ‘valued’ in your life and work. Start with small steps e.g. talking with your boss about other opportunities to be more creative or greater autonomy. When you start planning solutions on how to create links from what you do to your values, you will notice your attitude and behaviour will start to change.

If you are a leader and you notice that your teams attitude, behaviour and motivation is not where it should be then it maybe down to their values being overly compromised. Find out their individual values and help them to see links to what they do. I have run a values exercise with leadership teams many times and it is amazing what sharing values in a safe environment can do.

Summary to escape the Sisyphus Trap

  1. Re-identify your values
  2. Make a plan to connect your values to what you do and take action
  3. Bring meaning and purpose back into what you do in your life through your values
  4. Recognise and appreciate that people’s values are different
  5. Be tenacious and recognise the successes you make

Please use the comment box if you have any questions or have experience of this happening in your working world.

If you would like to talk to me about coaching or team development please contact me at mcdougallmartin@aol.com

It’s Better to Regret What You Have Done Than What You Haven’t

I wanted to leave you with this great Ted video

Tony Robbins discusses the “invisible forces” that motivate everyone’s actions

Important Numbers in Life – the clock is ticking

 

29500 Average life span in days of a woman in the western world

26500 Average life span in days of a man in the western world

100,000 estimated hours you will work in your lifetime

Now some people will argue with my math, however, in this instance my grasp of figures doesn’t need to be perfect, so whats my point?

29500 & 26500 where are you on that scale? life is short and the only certainities in life are death and taxes as Daniel Defoe eluded to.

So what are your goals? Life & work? the clock is ticking… right down 3 that you haven’t achieved and want to.

Now pick the most important to you.

Now your probably saying yes, but… I can do that when I retire, I have a family to support etc

Have a look at this article about top 5 regrets taken from Bronnie Ware who worked in palitive care http://www.inspirationandchai.com/Regrets-of-the-Dying.html

Makes you think…

You don’t have time for regrets, we have all made the best decisions we could, at the time, either that or we wouldn’t have made that decision. Let go and move on

What I am not saying is give everything up this instant, what I am asking is for you to consider is how you can make changes in your life to help you achieve your goals.

So ask yourself; what is the reality of your situation, opportunities,challenges, current skills, desire to attain these goals?

How do you enchance the pro’s and mitigate the con’s?

So what can you do about it? what are your options for taking things forward? Which is best for you now?

Ok, what are you going to do first, how can you plan the steps you need to take, to stop it being overwhelming? How do you know your getting there? What is it going to feel like when you reach each step and ultimately you end goal?

Be honest with yourself, whats stopping you?

Finally, thinking about 100,000, its a hell a long time to do something that you hate doing but it will go in the blink of an eye if you enjoy or do I say it love your job!

Congratulations… (not just for reading as far as this in my blog!)… If you have answerred the questions above, then you have had a short coaching session with yourself. If you would be interested in knowing more about coaching please contact me at mcdougallmartin@aol.com

I know January is nearly finished and so will many resolutions, however if you read through this article and you want to tackle your career here is 5 things you might want to think abouthttp://www.linkedin.com/share?viewLink=&sid=s842636350&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eforbes%2Ecom%2Fsites%2Fdanschawbel%2F2012%2F01%2F23%2F89-of-new-hires-fail-because-of-their-attitude%2F&urlhash=Cb_j&pk=nprofile-view-success&pp=1&poster=54966038&uid=5567707556568104960&trk=NUS_UNIU_SHARE-title

photo credit <p><a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1526″>Image: Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>