Transform the Differences on Your Team in an Instant!
The #1 source of pain and struggle on teams is the right/wrong trap.
Bring a group of smart, passionate people together to change the world, or build the next best widget, and at some point, there is going to a moment (and possibly many) where those bright people are going to caught in the right/wrong trap, and stall team progress.
People are invited onto to teams because they are bright or have a unique skill. With this area of expertise they have a strong opinion, which has worked well for them, and likely they have been right in many situations.
So, of course, it’s quite easy for that person to fall into the trap of thinking that they are right, period. However, on teams (in fact, in many relationships) that confidence and strong opinion can become detrimental.
For a team to be effective the members need to be able to hold the tension that is created when more than one person has the confidence, conviction, and imagination to bring something new to the table. That tension is both within each team member and also between team members.
It’s a paradox. Because you want a team of bright, creative experts who are willing to fight for their ideas and at the same time listen and be influenced by the brilliance, creativity, and opinions of others.
The Greatest Challenge To Building and Maintaining a High Performing Team
Therein lies the greatest challenge to building and maintaining a high performing team:
Mastering and holding a space, with curiosity for both the ME, individual brilliance, AND the WE, other’s brilliance.
There is a way. It may seem impossible.
Two Magic Ingredients
There are two magic ingredients, that if practiced and applied, transform teams in and instant, by transforming its members’ differences.
Anyone on a team that practices one, or both of these two skills in situations where there is conflict or tension, can make magic happen.
The first is to Be Vulnerable.
We define vulnerability as the willingness to:
Simply reveal what isn’t being said – It is deceptively simple, but hard for us to do
Speak up and say what is actually happening inside of you – It may be that you are uncomfortable, angry, worried, or you don’t know the answer
Expose yourself – No, not literally, but drop the cover of trying to look good, be smart, or in charge; instead, let your teammates see that you are human, acknowledge that you don’t understand, are sorry, or you made a mistake
The second is Be Curious.
We define curiosity as the willingness to:
Stop fighting for your “right” way, and be open to the ideas of others
Listen with the willingness to be influenced
Consider that there may be more than one right way, reality, or answer
One of these can transform a team in an instant. Put them together and a team can make a quantum leap forward.
It just takes one person.
Are you willing to be that person?
CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke
Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict
CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.
They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.
Check out their website: www.thriveinc.com. Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! Find your copy of The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team's Competitive Advantage here.