In this blog we continue our exploration of what it is to be an effective team.
Last week we discussed trust, the foundation of Lencioni’s (2002) team effectiveness pyramid. This week we look at the next level – the capacity to engage in trust-based conflict. In later weeks we will look at collective commitment, mutual accountability and a focus on results.
What’s the talk like?
Think about the team you work in. How many conversations don’t take place that perhaps should? What is stopping you and colleagues from having them? What assumptions, sensitivities and fears are in play? How well do you honestly recognise what is going on inside yourself let alone in others?
In the presence of these potential barriers, just what gets talked about in your meetings? How do these meetings sound, look and feel to you? How much do you give of yourself? How much gets achieved? How much do you look forward to the next one?
Getting stuck, or getting stuck in?
We see many teams that are stuck. The quality of their engagement with one another is stale and limiting. Their energy is often highest around done-it-lots-before execution topics. There is a sense of confidence about these familiar places. And there is usually an easily identified expert to carry the load, and the can.
We see fewer teams that really get stuck in to complex issues with a fearless energy and passionate detachment that generates a high tempo of collective exploration and learning. Each exchange creates new insights. They reflect together. They learn together. Quickly. Effectively. They commit collectively to decisions. And they lead collectively with conviction.
Seems a bit of a challenge?
The great news is that developing trust and the capacity to engage in creative conflict is possible. Yes, it is potentially challenging for some people. Teams are something of a brown-field site and a tailored development approach will always be required.
So, what will you do today to get out of stuckness and start getting stuck in?
The Fresh Air Learning Company