Do you have an actual team in your company or is it a "pseudo-team", a loose collection of individuals or a group that may cooperate but do not collaborate? Maybe you have a dysfunctional team? In a country that reveres sports and team play, how ironic so few businesses have productive teams that achieve exceptional success.
What is the biggest obstacle?
My answer, CONFLICT! We tend to handle conflict in business poorly. Conflict disables cooperation, and destroys TRUST. People have differing tendencies when it comes to building, saving and losing trust. My trust assessments lead me to believe that people build trust slowly, verify it irregularly, and withdraw trust quickly when results are negative. When conflict becomes "disagreeable" rather than "disagreement", a single unpleasant encounter can remove all trust. Without trust, there can be no resolution to conflict.
In business, employees are routinely assigned to projects, but can not become a productive group showing results until they trust each other. If they survive the inevitable disagreements about project direction, they may emerge as a "potential team". Although job security, salary and benefits should hold a team together, mishandled conflict creates a state of distrust and separation. This may cause the team or group to devolve into a "pseudo-team" that no longer moves the company forward.
Volunteer Groups & Conflict
y experience has shown that the pseudo-group problem is worse with volunteer groups. In terms of plain frequency, it's probably no worse than that found in the workplace. There is however, one major difference... Volunteer groups come together for a
and are presumed to have
to that purpose. Consequently, when differences of opinion occur, and the varying levels of commitment by volunteer team members becomes apparent, the end result isn't merely a loss of trust, but rather a heart-wrenching sense of
Since volunteer organizations offer no salary & benefits package, no corner office with a view, and few tangible perks, volunteers are
free to walk away. Some volunteers vote with their feet...others don't. A strong sense of obligation and ownership may keep many volunteers involved, however their
motivations may not always be healthy for the organization. Those whose motivation is less than healthy, often stay put and become saboteurs and protagonists in battles for the hearts and minds of the organization's members. In the end, they and others who stayed behind run
the risk of becoming burned-out and cynical. Left unchecked, the organization may become damaged beyond repair and eventually disband.
Avoid The Future of Dysfunctional Teams
It's NOT easy, but if your organization is worth the hard work, you must find the energy and get started! But start where? You can start by reading the sources I used for this newsletter:
· The Wisdom of Teams by Jon Katzenbach & Douglas Smith
· Mindset by Carol Dweck
I am not under the delusion that education will fix all things.
Education without action is entertainment that changes nothing. You must TAKE ACTION! And again the question, where to start? Every journey starts with the first step...I suggest that you start by getting a clear diagnosis of the state of your organizaiton. This will help you avoid wasted time, money and supremely demotivating false starts.
The Raffetto Group offers the following diagnostic tools:
· Profile-Leadership Expressions
· Organizational Culture & Climate Index
· Developmental Needs Inventory
You need an experienced, competent
TEAM COACH whom you can trust your organization with. If you know and trust me, we should talk.
Keep a Good Thought,
Allen M. "Dr. Al" Raffetto, Ph.D.
Do most of the jobs in your organization require capable people with thought-enabled brains? If yes, then take steps to feed and grow those brains and the folks who bring them into your business.
"How Do You Lead You?
Dr. Al's Corner
Italians and Intentions
All my ancestors came from Italy so I grew up intensively learning their unique approach to the attribution of motive, especially blame.
We were also taught to infer intentions long before the party in question knew what his/her intentions were. These are skills critical to martyrs and cynics.
I know Italians didn't corner the market on martyrs and cynics, but I grew up surrounded by enough of both to pick up the skills. And now in later life I am figuring out how to replace them with better dispositions.
Slow learner that I am, finally I know that a group of martyrs and cynics makes a terrible team. In fact one of each is enough to keep a collection of people from ever becoming a unified group.
My greatest pitfall still is guessing and inferring intention instead of asking and confirming it. Intentions based only on hunches generate unsupported expectations.
When anticipated actions don't happen but were "clearly expected to happen", you have everything needed to start a conflict fed by that string of powerful forces, Surprise-Panic-Blame. You can't build a "Trust-Destroyer" better than that. Trust me, I know. My heritage taught me so!
20% off a team diagnoses using the following tools:
Organizational Culture and Climate Index
Online survey of 7 factors constituting the way things work in your company. Members' data sets are totally confidential.
Developmental Needs Inventory
An individual "360" online instrument for giving feedback to managers and leaders. Confidential and anonymous feedback from peers, direct reports and upper management.