Your last few Bulletins have been looking at how to create very-high-preforming-teams. Most recently we’ve looked at the consequences of finger pointing, the need for team members to wear a team-hat and how trust can diminish because of interpersonal differences.
In this Bulletin I’m asking you the question…“Is your team so focussed on productivity at the cost of productivity?”
Are Your Team Members Caught in a ‘Cult of Productivity’?
If your team’s an “all work and no play” team, it’s productivity will actually be negatively impacted!
Very-high-performing teams are balanced teams. They work-hard—and they also have times when they put some petrol into their team tank, for example:
- Very-high-performing-team’s stop to think about what they’re doing and they reconsider their targeted outcomes.
- They stop and review the behavioural habits they’ve formed, and which of those habits support their outcomes and teamwork.
- They just “hang out together”. They catch up with each other and communicate as people—rather than as cogs in a wheel that are entirely focused on travelling along the road to achieve challenging goals.
Maintaining Your Team?
I know, when my car’s overdue for a service, when it needs oiling, it starts to feel a little clunky—and I suspect it’s not running very efficiently nor maximising its output. (By the way, I admit to not knowing nearly as much about cars as I do about teams).
Just like machine maintenance—if you don’t invest some down time to maintain it, add some “new bits” to enhance its performance, or re-calibrate it to new operating conditions—it’s performance will suffer.
Similarly, sooner or later team members’ motivation diminishes when they’re caught up in a cult of productivity, day in day out, without time out. They become over-stressed. They become less tolerant of others. They make mistakes. They even get sick.
And perhaps most seriously, they sometimes “check out” of the team, either attitudinally because of their diminished commitment, or by physically leaving the team.
If this is sounding a little like your team, it may be overdue for oiling!
Your Leadership Call to Action
Neglect oiling a machine and it’ll get clunky, less efficient and less productive.
Now might be a perfect time to have your team invest in some regular collective team time—and thereby take some giant strides towards being a very-high-performing-team that you and they are truly proud of.
Typically in a regular team get-together, team members work collaboratively on any number of different team related issues. Prioritising might indicate that the most important things for your team to do first up is to:
- Add to team members’ self-awareness, or understanding (and therefore tolerance of) other team members.
- Give and receive feedback within the team. (This is always a remarkably worthwhile, positive and memorable exercise when it’s well facilitated.)
- Solve a team “problem”—which could be about “what” is done, like workflow or boundaries, or “how” things gets done, the behavioural aspect.
You and your team can create opportunities to work together in a highly pragmatic yet emotionally intelligent way. There are many particularly worthwhile team conversations that will have an immediate, positive impact on the look at feel of the team.
Let me know how I can support you. (I’ve been helping teams grow into very-high-performing teams for many years.)
We’d begin by looking at how your team is currently performing—and compare that to how it would be performing as a very-high-performing-team. Then we’d determine what needs to happen to close the gap between its current and its ideal performance.
That’s always a very high ROI exercise!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.