I just had a call from a call centre offering to provide finance for my business. At first I felt annoyed at the intrusion and at finding it impossible to get a word in as the person launched into a prepared script.
Then I got curious about what it would be like to be that person and how demoralising it would feel to have to pump out the numbers and stick to a script and a process that has a high possibility of failure and, in many cases, rudeness and aggression.
It felt like this team member is operating in a system that runs a model of sales as a numbers game and forgets it is also a research, service and relationship game.
What would it be like to be part of that team?
What elements of an outdated way of operating show up in your team?
The successful teams I work with have a positive and sustainable high-performance culture focussed on building skill and capability that strengthens both engagement (a great team to work in) and productivity (we get things done!).
Here are five tips to work on today:
#1: Clarity about results
Teams exist to produce results and in order to produce results, clarity on what this looks like is integral. Think about a sports team that you are or have been involved with: you turn up to get a result – to win the game.
Get clear about what you are striving for as a team – check in. Have the goal posts moved? If so, what needs to be adjusted?
#2: Decision making
High performing teams make decisions. They are clear whose responsibility the decision rests with, who needs to be consulted and who just needs to be informed.
How does your team rate with making decisions? What decisions need to be made today? The RACI model is a valuable template to help lock this in.
It takes grit and courage to live up to your accountabilities. Teams that thrive have team members who own their accountabilities and support their teams. They lock in timeframes and with clear completion /delivery dates.
What are you accountable for? What is the team accountable for? How do these align?
We know communication is a cornerstone of both team productivity and engagement and being human, we often put less effort into investing in our communication. We assume because we can communicate that we are effective – often to our detriment.
Take a moment to tune into the atmosphere of your team. What’s the conversation that no one is having? Have that conversation today.
Respect is a foundation of high performing teams; teams who demonstrate respectful behaviours towards each other perform better than teams who don’t.
We know this. However, we often confuse respect with trust with a sometimes-held belief that others’ have to earn our respect, often resulting in holding back and making ‘them’ work hard to gain it.
This can create a negative cycle of behaviour within the team with less than respectful behaviours demonstrated.
Reflect on how you as an individual contribute to a culture of respect in your team and how you contribute to a culture of disrespect?
Begin today by behaving in a respectful manner; it will create a healthy environment to grow from.
Pollyanna Lenkic is an author, coach, and speaker who works with leading organisations. She is an expert in building high-performing teams. Her structured approach delivers an uplift of 25% in team performance. To work with Pollyanna go to her website.