Is Your Team Hindering Your Business? If you need to micromanage your team, setbacks might be more significant than progress.
At the end of last year, my family went through a massive change in our lives. 100% of my energy and attention were devoted to this crisis. I was out of the office for a while, and processes were disrupted. Some, I had just put into place. I knew that when I came back, I was not going to be able to take on everything by myself. If I wanted to help people whisper their chaos, I needed some help in whispering my own.
If you visit my website, you can see, the Whispering Team has grown, and I am so proud of them. But building this team was not easy. I had to be clear on what I needed to take on and what my team needed to take on. What were the skills I required for each team member? I needed to anticipate what was going to help and not hinder me from moving forward.
Today, we will reflect on how team members can help you or hinder you.
Here are three thoughts to provoke you, two ideas to inspire you, and one item to act on!
Three Thoughts to Provoke
Number One. The Helping Team
Throughout my professional life, I have focused on helping others. The work is important, but people make it happen. My team and I will spend many hours together on projects and having a good relationship with them is key.
What are the characteristics of a fantastic team member?
I’ve always appreciated teammates and coworkers who communicate well, acknowledge their place in the workflow, and listen and appreciate their team members’ input.
Humility is one of the most important traits a team member can have. Being selfless enough to help a newbie settle in, share resources, or teach some skills they are good at is something I love in my team members. I try to lead by example and do these things myself.
Teams that share many of those traits are on the path to success. We are all human, and we will work together imperfectly. But in the end, great Teams are bound to meet deadlines, surpass expectations, and strengthen their colleagues’ work. That is what I’d call the Helping Team.
Number Two. The Hindering Team
Let’s review the purpose of a team. Why is a team built in the first place? We develop teams to ease work. Everyone receives a set of responsibilities and expectations. When every team member is doing their part successfully, the work emerges.
Sometimes, a team member might complain to their colleagues, miss deadlines, produce shoddy work, or not meet targets. If it happens once or twice, that’s okay. When these things happen too often and become a norm, it’s time to stop and assess.
As a team leader, dealing with breakdowns can turn the team leader into a micromanager! When someone is not functioning well as a team member, you can find yourself hovering over their work and neglecting your responsibilities. That is not what anyone wants. If you feel the need to micromanage constantly, you may fall short on your tasks. You might be “leading” The Hindering Team.
Number Three. Helping the Hinderer.
When a client micromanages my work, I am not appreciative. I also do not want to micromanage my team. I need to look at myself before pointing fingers at others.
Have I been clear with the objectives to reach? Did I provide the necessary tools to my team members? Have I provided feedback?
Those are the first things I want to review that are under my control. If I can answer “Yes” to all of those questions, I need to assess how we can work together to fix the issue.
Setting objectives and performance plans with a hindering team member should be helpful. My company grows when my team grows, and my team grows when each individual grows. I have to help each individual do their best and blossom.
We do this to see improvement and get back on track, but unfortunately, there will be times when progress doesn’t come, and we’ll need to use the last resort of letting them go. Do this tactfully, with respect, and on good terms, aiming for both parties’ best outcome.
Termination is hard to do but sometimes is needed to keep moving on the path of success.
Two Things to Inspire
Number One. Individual Commitment.
It isn’t easy to organize thoughts regarding teamwork and not get something related to sports! Here’s a quote from Vince Lombardi, famous football coach:
Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work
The quote is a good summary of teamwork: to have a collective goal and move together towards achieving that goal. Success!
In a team, each effort counts and is needed. Can you afford to keep a team member who is not pulling together toward your company’s goals?
Number Two. Team Impact
I came across a thought that I disagreed with SO MUCH that I felt the need to explain this quote by Lee Iacocca, a successful businessman:
The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.
I understand the context of saying it this way and “leading by example.” I’m not a fan of the word “boss,” and I believe a team needs a leader. A team needs to be agile. Unfortunately, an underperforming team member can hinder the team’s progress. A slow team can impact the entire business.
Is your team moving forward at a good pace? Is there something you can do to improve the speed? Asking those questions will help you identify areas for improvement.
Your Action Item
Having a hindering team is not the end of the world. It just means you need to plan, execute, check and act.
Plan and execute improvements needed for your team, check the results, and assess team dynamics and any changes that will move you toward your goal.
Finally, act on the results. You will soon see if things have improved or if you need another solution. Your team needs to help you achieve your goals, so you need to develop the team and strategy to accomplish your objectives.
Thank you for joining me today. Please be sure to subscribe to our channel so you get the latest chaos busters 3-2-1 action series. Share with your colleagues and friends. I look forward to moving you along the path to success.