Have you ever looked at your team and felt like: sure things are getting done, work is being accomplished, but yet something still just isn’t right?
“Is it me? Is it my team? Where is the disconnect?”
You may be asking yourself these questions on a daily basis and more often than not, the problem is the leadership. Don’t take it personally — just take action.
Here’s how to notice if your leadership style needs improvement and what you can do to better it.
Team Members Don’t Engage in Healthy Conflict.
When a new idea is proposed or a solution to an existing problem, there is no debate, discussion or dialogue. Even when there are opposing views, your team doesn’t take the time to talk it out and find an optimal solution.
This can occur for two reasons: they don’t care enough or they don’t feel safe in speaking up.
What you can do:
In either scenario, it is the job of the leader to encourage team members to engage in healthy conflict and work with one another to come up with even better solutions. Ask for feedback, pose questions to new ideas, play devil’s advocate and explore the “what ifs.”
Make your team members feel safe and comfortable in speaking up by active listening, not interrupting, expressing no judgment, and taking every suggestion into serious consideration.
You don’t need to agree or approve of all ideas; but showing they are valid and that you appreciate their input is integral to encouraging healthy conflict and discussion.
There Are Never Any Mistakes or Bad News.
Teams should be making mistakes. Not all the time, but occasionally making a mistake is a good thing.
Every mistake is the opportunity for learning and growth. They lead to better, more effective solutions and put teams to the test when it comes to problem-solving and teamwork.
If everything is A-okay all the time, something is up. Team members are either so stuck in the status quo, they’re not thinking outside the box or endeavoring to explore creative new ideas; or they are hiding something.
Create a space where team members do not fear serious repercussions for every error made. Establish a process for how to deal with mistakes that allows the involved parties to take accountability, find a new solution, and determine how the mistake can be avoided in the future.
If team members are afraid to come to you with bad news, your leadership style may be too intense or harsh.
Ask for feedback often:
-What’s stopping them from achieving their best results?
-How can you support them?
-What ideas do they have that could benefit the whole organization?
-Which processes are broken?
The Team Rushes Through and Dislikes Meetings.
Meetings should be some of the best, most productive and creative times for your team.
If your team hates meetings, it probably has more to do with the relationships they have with their team members and accountability towards the topic.
Strengthen your team by creating opportunities to get to know one another outside the world of work. When we only spend time with others in one context, it’s hard for us to see them in any other light.
Out-of-office activities or team lunches can work to “humanize” our perspectives of others and thus strengthen relationships.
Have you noticed any of these traits in your own organization?
It doesn’t matter how you got there, all that matter is how you move forward.
We’ll help your organization get back on track, strengthen team member relationships, and help you identify your leadership strengths and pain points.