There are six ways teams can make decisions. Some people believe that in a collaborative environment, consensus is the best. But that’s a big mistake.
Pushing for consensus when it’s not needed actually makes collaboration more difficult. The best collaborative environments are situational in their approach to team decision-making.
You make countless decisions every day. Knowing when and how you need to involve others, and the best team decision-making method for each situation, will help you make the right decisions, will make implementation easier and will save time in the long run.
The Six Types of Team Decisions
Individual. The individual who is responsible for the outcome makes the decision. If your office is running low on pens, the office manager can decide . . . → Read More: Situational Team Decision-Making: Collaboration Does Not Require Consensus
Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone thanked you at the end of the meeting and told you how glad they were to have been there?
How likely is that to happen?
A recent study found that for the second year in a row, workers reported meetings as “the biggest distraction and waste of time presented by the workplace.”
Did you know that time spent in meetings has skyrocketed? Harvard Business Review reports leaders spend more than two days a week in meetings, an amount that has increased every year since 2008.
Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Kevin Eikenberry for his “Remarkable Leadership Online Seminar” about how to host productive meetings. We had a lively conversation which you can listen to . . . → Read More: The Art of Hosting Meaningful Meetings
When you agree on your team values, you increase trust and create a language for more effectively working together.
Values are deeply held beliefs about what is right and good and evoke standards that you care deeply about. They drive your behaviors and decisions.
Most often your values influence your behavior unconsciously. High performance teams are clear about their values and consciously make decisions based on them.
If your organization has published values, it is still helpful to identify the values that are specific to the needs and purpose of your team. It’s okay if they are not the same, as long as they are aligned and don’t conflict.
If your organization has not articulated values, it is even more important to identify your . . . → Read More: How to Identify Team Values that Unify and Guide Your Team
Victor’s team had recently delivered a couple of large projects, and he was pleased with their performance. But there was feedback that they were feeling burned out, and two people had recently requested transfers.
When I suggested creating a Team Charter, he told me, “Planning is fine, but I’m all about action. I’d rather see people take action and feel ownership than set up a bunch of rules that slow things down.”
Is Victor right? Absolutely!
When people initiate action, they assume greater responsibility for ensuring a successful outcome.
Is Victor wrong? Absolutely!
When people take random action without clear agreements with others, they are likely to waste their time and other’s as well.
Here’s the paradox:
. . . → Read More: Create a Team Charter to Go Faster and Smarter
What can you do as a team member to help your team achieve The 6 Benchmarks of High Performance Teams? There are 12 team behaviors that directly affect the quality of your team’s results, the ability to make smart decisions and the commitment to implement them.
Task behaviors focus on what is needed to get the job done. They ensure that an intelligent process is used to make smart decisions. But task behaviors alone are not enough.
In order to ensure decisions will be implemented, team members need to feel good about how decisions were made. This is why maintenance behaviors are just as important.
Become a “Participant – Observer.”
Each of the 12 team behaviors is important for your team to be effective. Most . . . → Read More: The 12 Team Behaviors That Drive Team Performance
Does your team share a real vision? Is it being lived? Does it make a difference?
Answer these 10 questions to find out how effective your vision is.
Get a reality check. Ask everyone on your team to rate the vision and discuss your answers. It’s a non-threatening way to launch a powerful team discussion.
(There’s a link to a free online version of this assessment at the bottom of this article.)
Rate each of the questions below on a 1 – 5 scale. Then total your responses to get your Score. Next read the section “What Your Score Means” to understand your Score and get ideas to help your team.
= Rarely = Occasionally = Sometimes = Usually = . . . → Read More: How Does Your Team Vision Rate?
The assumption that change has to start at the top is wrong. You don’t have to wait for senior leaders to make it a better place.
Managers don’t have to wait for senior management to start a process of organizational revitalization. ~Michael Beer
The first step in building shared vision is to give up the traditional notion that vision is always announced from “on high.” ~Peter Senge
Begin within your own sphere of influence.
Where do you have the greatest influence? Most likely within your own team. Consider the widest sphere that you can impact. This is the place to start.
Take responsibility to provide leadership.
Leadership is more than just good management practices. Leadership is about going somewhere.
Where . . . → Read More: Stop Waiting for Someone Else to Provide Leadership
The team was excited and energized. They had created a vision that would lead to the breakthrough they had been looking for.
They set goals and identified next steps, roles and communications. They had a great plan and the means to achieve it.
All set, right?
They fell victim to “creative tension.”
Working toward the vision was not as exciting as the process of creating it. At times it was downright mundane.
It was harder than they had anticipated. It required more work, making adjustments to plans, communications and coordination was more difficult.
Some people began to say the vision wasn’t practical. Others decided they really didn’t want the vision after all.
Soon things on the team returned to normal, and life returned to . . . → Read More: Prepare for Creative Tension or It May Cloud Your Vision
Did you ever watch in dismay as a good team began to make a series of bad decisions?
It can happen with any kind of team – a work team, sports team, political team, or volunteer team… in any kind of setting – business, government, school, non-profit.
Here’s what happens: The team starts off enthusiastically and moves ahead quickly. Things seem to be humming along, and then, bam! They make some terrible decisions, things come to a screeching halt, and everyone wants to jump ship.
If you’ve ever been a member of one of these teams, you know how devastating it is for all involved. If you wondered what happened, you might find some clues here.
More importantly, if you are currently a member of . . . → Read More: Why Good Teams Make Bad Decisions