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What Really Is The Cause of Team Mediocrity?



What really is the cause of team mediocrity?

It is not lack of talent. No, it’s caused by lack of conflict. That’s right. You heard me: lack of conflict.

Good teams shy away from conflict, telling themselves that they are being efficient or kind. They hold back or drive over those precious moments. You heard me: those precious moments.

We call them Oh Sh*t! moments. I think you know what I mean, but just in case you don’t, here is an example of an Oh Sh*t moment:

You and your team are talking about the last steps in production for your awesome new change-the-world product and Tom, head of Operations says, “We aren’t going to be able to produce the number we targeted. We didn’t get the shipment of wafers for the box.”

You say, either out loud or to yourself, “Oh Sh*t!”

Usually what happens next is a bit of a free-for-all. “Who’s responsible for this? Why didn’t we know earlier?”

“Look, my team did their part. Get it together Tom.”

“Damn it, my sales guys worked their asses off and now this happens. They are going to look like fools to the customers!”

Too often the blame and banter results in a target and a scapegoat and likely a delay in getting the problem solved. The other scenario is that people on the team just stay quiet, scatter and work harder on their area, leaving the problem and pain unaddressed.

We believe every Oh Sh*t! moment creates the possibility for an innovative solution and a great result – that is, if it is handled well.

Using some simple and practical tools in those moments provides a predictable path for going from Oh Sh*t! to Aha!

At Thrive!, we have run, walked and stumbled through this path many, many times in our business and with hundreds of other leaders and teams over the years. Learn how to shift from Oh Sh*t! to Aha! and drive your teams towards greater alignment, productivity, creativity and innovation.

P.S. Watch for The Beauty of Conflict to be released next month! Pre-order options coming soon!


CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke

Master Certified Life Coaches and Business Consultants

CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, individuals and professional women. With leaders and teams, they turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on the business strategy. CrisMarie helps over-performing professional women who are frustrated, resentful and doing to much reconnect to their passion, joy, and magnetic presence and apply their tremendous resources in new ways to create both results and fulfillment in their work, relationships and lives. She does this through Executive Coaching, Personal Coaching and Ignite Your Relationship Mojo, an on-line program. Susan helps people reconnect to their mojo, “muchness,” magnetic presence in their relationships, work and life. She does this through Leadership Mojo Coaching and Build Your Mojo, an on-line program. They also have an in-person, three day, all-inclusive retreat working with horses, Find Your Mojo in Montana where they partner you with a horse to access your mojo and transform your relationships both at work and at home.

Check out their website: www.thriveinc.com. Find them on Facebook @thriveincmt. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It!


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