Accountability is “the willingness of team members to remind one another when they are not living up to the performance standards of the group…” Accountability is the lowest scoring element of the five factors in the team assessment created by Patrick Lencioni and the team at Wiley.
This is no surprise! Many of you already know many supervisors have difficulty giving their direct reports corrective feedback or holding their employees accountable.
For many team members holding another team member accountable makes them very uncomfortable!
For those of you familiar with Patrick’s model from his bestselling book, The Five Behaviors of a Dysfunctional Team, you know team members can’t/won’t push for accountability if there is not trust or healthy conflict established within the team. I have included a terrific video link featuring Patrick. In the video, he makes you laugh as he recounts how even CEOs and executives have difficulty giving corrective feedback or holding someone accountable. As you watch, you will recognize more than one executive style you have worked with.
Accountability is one of the key stages to developing team trust in Wiley’s Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team.
In my next blog I will describe how I help team members take the next step into attaining accountability.
How many times have you left a meeting where a decision has been made only to hear at least one team member tell others later they don’t really support the decision made?
When team members don’t really commit to a decision it can affect productivity in a big way! Some reasons team members don’t commit are:
I have included a link from Patrick Lencioni, author of, The Five Behaviors of a Dysfunctional Team. In his video, he explains the importance of commitment and makes a huge distinction between commitment and consensus. Driving for consensus takes way too much time and can result in poor decisions.
Creating clarity around direction and priorities, as well as aligning the team around common objectives, sets the stage for commitment. Letting all team members have their say and give their opinion is also crucial to getting commitment. Once everyone has shared and a decision has been made, you need to make it clear that all team members need to support the final decision inside and outside the room.
Figuring out how to alter your style when communicating with different generations is a great way to help reduce workplace misunderstandings and ill will. Your team could consist of several generations.
In a Forbes article on cross-generational communication, corporate trainer Dana Brownlee was approached by a woman at a business retreat who felt angry, unappreciated and disrespected when the Millennials on her team emailed or texted their responses to her rather than call her back. The two generations clearly had different ways of communicating. Brownlee witnesses generational communications disagreements in the workplace frequently noting that “To curb the potential dangers, set clear ground rules for what’s expected in both internal and external communications.” At the same time, she advises workers across all age groups to individualize their approach by learning their coworkers’ preferences and attempt to meet in the middle. That’s where the DiSC® Assessment comes in handy.
Learn How Your Multigenerational Team Can Effectively Communicate
Whether in human resources or a manager trying to get his or her team to be more productive, the Everything DiSC Workplace® builds an understanding of communication styles and how to best work with the different types of communicators. I can also work with you on Train the Trainer programs so that you can build a core competency in DiSC and offer the training to employees, new hires and managers.
Your team member will need help at some point. Do you know when to offer it?
Productive team members not only communicate constructively and have learned to trust each other, they help each other! Your fellow team member has learned to count on you as a reliable counterpart who has been an active participant, gets work done, and does his/her fair share to work hard and meet commitments. The question is…when do you reach out and offer help?
I have heard many people caution others to “stay in their lane.” This phrase is often directed at fellow team members who tend to be “busy bodies” or “braggers” and have a reputation of making it their business to interfere in other employees’ work or department(s).
Two Ways to be a Supportive Team Member
Team players with commitment have shown a genuine desire to look beyond their own piece of the work and care about the team’s overall performance. They treat fellow team members with courtesy and consideration — not just some of the time but consistently.
1. Offering Help — Attentive, involved team members usually know if someone is open to further discussion or input. A helpful team member has learned over time enough about their teammate’s personality styles, goals, and plans to offer suggestions or solutions to achieve the team’s success.
- He or she responds to requests for assistance and takes the initiative to reach out and offer help.
- Good team players figure out ways to work together to solve problems and get work done. In addition, they show understanding and the appropriate support of other team members to achieve the combined end result.
2. Active Listening — Keep in mind that there are team members who don’t actually want help — they want someone to just listen, support, and recommend. Effective communication is a vital part of any team, so the value of good listening skills can’t be underestimated.
- Your team members will appreciate your “listening ear” and come back when they need additional support or to solve a problem.
- Team members need a support person who can absorb, understand, and consider ideas and points of view from them without debating and arguing every point.
- Team members need someone to listen first and speak second so that a meaningful exchange of ideas can occur. Ask probing questions and acknowledge what’s said by paraphrasing points that have been made.
Take the time to help your fellow teammates, no matter the request. You can bet there will be a time in the future when you’ll need some help or advice. And if you’ve helped them, they will want to reciprocate.
The Help You Offer a Teammate Can Be as Simple as Listening
With the support and aid of the DiSC report you can give employees a look into themselves – an awareness of their unique behaviors and construct a plan to help modify what doesn’t work. DiSC is nonjudgmental and helps people learn about and discuss their behavioral differences and will improve their work productivity, teamwork, and communication.
Many people fear conflict. Most are fearful because they have seen conflict handled incorrectly. Many people would prefer to avoid confrontation or arguments with other people, and may display various reactions such as changing the subject or simply agreeing with the argumentative person as a way of avoiding these conflicts.
In building trust, the basis for healthy teamwork, conflict must be harnessed and managed as part of the team process.
As trust is built, teams can learn to participate in sharing differences of opinions and healthy conflict. Without the foundation of trust, many team members are afraid to speak or disagree.
Patrick Lencioni states in this video that healthy conflict in the pursuit of truth and best outcomes, can lead teams to uncover the best ideas and solutions possible.
When a team member has a different recommendation but fails to disagree with someone’s ideas, it ferments around them as a person. When he/she fails to stand up for themselves or disagree with someone about their concepts, they are dooming the relationship. After a while team members lose credibility with everyone because no one had the courage to speak up.
Many employees and leaders think the idea is to have a conflict free organization or team. This is the sure path to mediocrity, stagnation, and lack of growth and creativity. Avoiding conflicts at work can lead to larger issues, as well as increased stress in one’s life.
Once team members engage in healthy debate their personal sense of satisfaction and self-worth emerges and they don’t go back to their old ways.
We have now covered Trust and Conflict as the foundations of building cohesive, productive teams. Connect with me to learn more about The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team(R) and how you may apply these practices to your organization’s teams.
Working with your internal teams and helping them be more productive is a great use of your time and talent!
Trust is key to the functioning of any team, family dynamic, or personal relationship. It is the foundation of the model created by Patrick Lencioni in his bestselling book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.”
As you view this brief video featuring Patrick, you will learn Trust is defined as being vulnerable.
Oftentimes, what people say and how they behave is a good way to gauge trust within a team:
When team members can say…
- “I made a mistake”
- “I need help,” or
- “I don’t know the answer…”
Trust is established.
When team members…
- Blame others, or
- Don’t admit what is really going on…
Real work can’t get done and productivity suffers.
In the next few weeks I will feature each behavior and include more fun and entertaining videos. We also have a sample Team Report available for review. Please inmail me with any questions or if you would like to view the sample report.
Working with your internal teams and helping them be more productive is a great use of your time and talent!
Patrick Lencioni, author of “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” is your ultimate sales person as you coach and influence your company associates — from the smallest team up to the Executive team level — to sharpen their skills; and increase camaraderie and productivity.
I have provided a link to a 2½ minute video on YouTube; “Patrick Lencioni on Teamwork.” Patrick’s message is so powerful for all team leaders. He points out that many corporate leaders plan to use their many skills as a volunteer in a nonprofit setting as they look towards retirement. What many leaders don’t realize is their impact on employees right now in their current leadership role.
Lencioni points out teamwork is the best competitive advantage that any company can have! I’m sure you agree. This terrific tool offers each team member a look at how they are doing on the five behaviors crucial to team success. Here are the five tenets of building a cohesive team:
Unleash your company’s competitive advantage and build upon your organization’s strengths and innovativeness. Please feel free to connect with me on any questions regarding how you can help all your teams at work and request a sample report which will give you the insights to turnaround teamwork in your company.