When I was still employed, the objectives from the annual business plan were always evaluated every quarter. The whole MT would come together and have passionate discussions about why we really had to start with this project. Or why a particular deadline was still not met.
Very good of course. As a manager, you don’t want a unmotivated and uninterested team. But something was not right. In these discussions, my colleagues would make fun at the expense of others and derogatory remarks were said. The commercial team was always shouting and would never let others finish.
If one of the team members came up with an exciting idea or gave a presentation, there was always one colleague who thought the input was worthless. She literally said that too. Then she would quickly look at our manager. That way she could show off to 'the big boss'.
The same person would always give 'feedback' to our manager. When someone had made a mistake; our manager was informed within a tenth of a second. Her motivation: this is important for the company. Of course.
As a result, I didn’t dare to come up with an idea anymore and I was constantly covering my you know what. Actually, I would have wanted to consult with a colleague about a problem. After all 2 see more than 1. But I didn’t, because then my manager knew it within 1 second and that could be seen as a form of weakness.
You could say that this team and its manager did not perform as it could have.
You could also say that because of this, there was little trust amongst each other
You could also argue that conflicts and irritations were not openly discussed, as a result of which they continued to feed under the surface.
If there is no trust in a team. If everyone sees feedback as an attack. If each team member only works for himself and is afraid of his / her own skin, then as a manager you really have a problem.
Patrick Lencioni has researched this phenomenon. In his book "The 5 frustrations of teamwork" he explains which characteristics meet teams with trust and which without trust.
Members of teams where trust is lacking:
• Hide weaknesses and mistakes from each other
• Hesitate when asking for help or give constructive feedback
• Hesitate to offer help outside the area for which they are responsible
• Immediately jump to conclusions about the intentions and inclinations of others, without first seeking clarification
• Don’t succeed in recognizing skills and expertise in others so they can make use of them
• Wasting time and energy in their efforts to realize their goals
• Are resentful
• Have a dislike of meetings and always have a reason not to do something as a team
Members of teams where trust prevails
• Admit their weaknesses and errors
• Dare to ask for help
• Accepting questions and input from others in the field for which they are responsible
• Give each other the benefit of the doubt before they reach a negative conclusion
• Take risks when offering feedback and assistance
• Appreciate and use the skills and expertise of others
• Putting time and energy into important matters, not in political games
• Offer apologies and accept them without hesitation
• Looking forward to meetings and other occasions to be able to act as a group
Personally, I find this fascinating. Do you recognize any of these characteristics in your team? How could you solve this? Do you want to know more about this?
In this summer, I am giving a 2-day training together with Paul Selbach of Selbach HRM Advice that covers this subject among others. Do you want to know more about this? Then click on this link: https://ontopmanagers.nl/en/aanbod-training-coaching-managers/managing-a-value-based-top-team/
By the way, the company that I wrote about, does not exist anymore