During a talk to a group of CEOs in Indiana last week on Empowering People for Profit, we spent time discussing how to increase the productivity and morale within their teams. There were two specific issues that arose from our discussions, namely that of creating a focus on developing facilitative leaders and resolving conflict within a dysfunctional team.
I’ve discussed facilitative leadership previously, so I want to share some of the approaches we discussed relative to dealing with team dysfunction, because truth be told every CEO in the room was dealing with dysfunction to some extent.
Of the eight reasons why teams can be dysfunctional, the most common issue amongst this group was the perception of teams and employees failing to take responsibility for their projects and actions.
One of the most common reason for employees failing to take responsibility in my experience results from directive leadership. Consider for example that leaders create the environment, both real and perceived, that employees operate within.
If several employees fail to take responsibility for their projects or responsibilities, the first person to look to is the leader of the group. Lack of responsibility is quite common amongst teams today on account of our continued desire to hire individuals into leadership roles that are technically competent (able to perform effectively in their role) rather than people competent (able to support, motivate and create collaboration within their team).
To increase the level of responsibility that employees accept in their role, leaders must be effective at nurturing an environment in which employees understand what their responsible for, how it supports the team and how it will ultimately support the organization.
So if you’re struggling with how to increase the responsibility of your employees, look first to the competencies of your leaders. People competence and a high degree of emotional intelligence far outweigh technical competence when it comes to building a high performing team.
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P.S. Are you looking to improve the competence of your leaders and overcome team dysfunction? Grab a copy of my book Operational Empowerment, now available on Amazon. Watch for the official launch on November 16th with more resources and tools to come!
© Shawn Casemore 2015. All rights reserved.