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Book Quotes Coaching High Performing Teams Judgement Leadership Legacy Mentoring Personal development

How do you develop a high performing team?

Are you in a team where you feel you belong? you loved getting out of bed every day and connecting with your peers, they inspired you, you felt safe to share your vulnerabilities, felt safe to challenge the norm and together you delivered outstanding results?

Patrick Lecioni’s story of the Five dysfunctions of a team, is about the foundations that have to be in place to be a high performing team. As a leader your role is to create a safe environment for the team to express themselves without judgement and actively encourage the team to challenge, so the team can develop and remain highly engaged.

Here are the seven steps for you as the leader to build a high performing team:

  1. Build the strategy for the year ahead together with the team. Why is this important? buy in, engagement, influence, debate and ownership. https://angelalovegrove.com/2019/11/25/how-do-you-construct-and-deliver-strategy/
  2. Once the strategy is in place. Reviewing progress(monthly/quarterly): what’s working and not working, is essential with the team. Celebrate every success along the way, as the motivation for the team is critical. When parts are not working; Ask the team why they think it’s not working? what should we do? Amend the strategy and don’t forget to share the learning. At the back of the book 5 dysfunctions of a team, there is a survey and action plans on each of the 5 dysfunctions, use this with your team quarterly to see which area of the 5 dysfunctions need attention.
  3. On the bus/off the bus. If the commitment of an individual or individuals is not there, tackle the situation head on. What is the issue? Is it behavioral? Get on top of this quickly as having a detractor in the team can slow the whole team, even if they are outstanding performers. Toxic individuals can bring a whole team down.
  4. During Covid19 my business coach delivered a 6 week team coaching session on resilience. The lessons from these sessions was it created psychological safety for the team, we all shared more that we had done in the last 6 months, the result was more trust than you can ever imagine. https://angelalovegrove.com/2020/06/03/just-completed-a-6-week-resilience-team-coaching-during-the-pandemic/ Highly recommend running or getting an external facilitator to run team coaching on resilience.
  5. Another lesson during Covid19, the importance of regular 30 minute check ins without an agenda. Time to catch up and share, more recently the challenges for the team in Melbourne.
  6. Personal development plans for each team member. Tailoring to the ability and need of the individual. This is critical for motivation and development. Being able to clearly articulate the difference between average, above average and excellent with clear examples of what they need to deliver helps them understand how they can be more successful.
  7. Work with your team members to find internal and external mentors. This is so powerful, there are many times I have had individuals looking to move into different areas of the business and I have found them a mentor in that area and within 12 months they have secured a role.

Diversity is key to the above being successful. If you have inherited a team with poor diversity, here are some additional steps that you will need to take:

1. If you are in a corporate with a graduate program, go and introduce yourself to the Graduate talent manager, find out why graduates would find coming to your part of the business interesting and become a “destination for graduates”. They really know how to shake up a culture with their drive and curiosity.

2. Find talent in other parts of the business looking for a challenge and secure them on a secondment to deliver key components of the strategy. This is a true win/win in business for the individual and for the company.

3. Ensure the minorities are well supported and take time to understand any poor behavior. In my experience where you have low diversity of age, culture, gender and LBGT, you will have behaviors that will not be acceptable.

4. Expect to take 12-24 months to fix.

There are many leaders who believe the term “high performing teams” is overused. For me it is absolutely essential as a leader to create the environment that people can thrive and deliver outstanding results and that by definition is High performing teams.

I wish you all the best with building a high performance team.

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Coaching Judgement

Difficult conversations

A new employee in the team a few years in full time work shared with me his concerns about having difficult conversations. He said he is not looking forward to the conversations I have to have with various customers. I was curious as to why, he said they are really difficult you are sharing information with the customer, they really don’t want to hear.

difficult conversations v2

I asked how did the customer respond when I delivered the news around the real challenges not perceived challenges by the customer in a customer meeting a few days prior to the catch up. He responded the customer was really appreciative of you sharing your insights.

Trust is built when we share insights and information that the recipient has not considered.

My belief is that I have a duty of care to provide information that has not been previously considered, so better outcomes can be achieved.

The new employees perception and beliefs play a big part on the approach. He felt very uncomfortable with the information being delivered, he saw it as challenging. The frame of reference for him was delivering bad news, mine was delivering important information to help them be successful.

The same is true when we have performance issues with employees. When we approach it in the frame of mind, I want to help and ensure success, as opposed to you have let me down, your message lands in a supportive as opposed to judgmental way.

What is you intention when approaching a difficult conversation?

Is the intention one of support and advice? If yes go ahead, if no, rethink your own intentions and take the time to approach at a time when you are in a better mind set to have the conversation.

Categories
Coaching Judgement Leadership Mentoring

Feedback is critical for growth

Feedback is critical for growth, yet often leaders are not comfortable sharing the feedback  with the individual, often discussing individuals behaviour and performance behind their back. Frustrating when if you are always workfeedbacking on being the better version of your self.

You may have a boss who shares remarks about your team, when you ask have you given the individual the feedback they says no. When you ask why, they say ‘ I don’t want to hurt them’. Hurting them is not having the conversation with the individual. 

Be very wary of leaders who gossip about others behaviour, but when you question them, have they had the conversation with the the individual and they say No. What are they saying about you? Worse still when the comment is a “perception” and their are no facts to support.

I treat others the way I wanted to be treated my self. Transparency and truth is a key value, therefore I will share observation for improvements because I care and I want them to improve. Always give feedback within 24 hours of the observation.

When we genuinely care about others you help them, not judge them. When we speak about others failings without them being present, ask yourself, how would I feel if I heard what was being said about me behind my back. The answer is simple don’t do it! Have the guts to have the conversation with the person you have the observation about, show them you care about them, be genuine with your conversation.

There is a great article written the Harvard Business review on What to Do If Your Career Is Stalled and You Don’t Know Why?  This goes to the heart of poor leadership, when the right coaching is not taken seriously enough and a high performer misses an opportunity on a behaviour that could have been coached to success.

https://hbr.org/2018/11/what-to-do-if-your-career-is-stalled-and-you-dont-know-why?utm_campaign=hbr&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin

Feedback is critical for growth