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Questions part 2…

I had some great feed­back about the ques­tions last week and so I want­ed to bring some more ques­tions. These next ques­tions we did not have time to answer so the answers to them are real­ly my take, rather than any­thing else.  

As a team leader, what if you don’t get along with your team? What if you just cannot connect with some people in your team?

For me this is a real­ly inter­est­ing top­ic. Let us start with one the most effec­tive lead­er­ship styles: to take the time to know and acare about your team mem­bers is one of the most effec­tive ways to posi­tion your­self to be a good leader. 
 
Now, if we start from there and you find that in your team there are peo­ple who you just can­not get along…. Well, on a nor­mal cap­i­tal­is­tic day to day approach the answer would be sim­ple: replace them. But could there be anoth­er approach?
 
As I talk about this oth­er approach I want you to keep in mind some­thing real­ly impor­tant: imag­ine what mes­sage your actions are send­ing to your team. If we assume the replace­ment route the mes­sage you are send­ing to your team is rather clear: get along with me or you are out. Is this moti­va­tion­al? Will this inspire oth­ers to work with you and go beyond the call to sup­port you? Will this gen­er­ate a team feel­ing or fear?
 
OK! So what else could we do? One of my old boss­es once sug­gest­ed that the most effec­tive way to deal with a dif­fi­cult client was to help that per­son to get a pro­mo­tion. This is a very sim­i­lar approach. If you have a team mem­ber who is just not con­nect­ing maybe one way to deal with them is to find them anoth­er oppor­tu­ni­ty. Sure­ly as a leader and exec­u­tive you have friends who also have teams. Would one of them not need anoth­er resource?  Why not reach out in your net­work and see if there is any­one who needs a team mem­ber?
 
Well, this bring about a very impor­tant ques­tion, no? If you don’t con­nect with that team mem­ber can you still rec­om­mend that per­son? 
 
My answer this is is rather sim­ple: is the con­nec­tion nec­es­sary for you to see the skills and assets of an indi­vid­ual? Can you see through your inabil­i­ty to con­nect to under­stand that per­sons val­ue?
 
For exam­ple, I don’t like Trump. Maybe I am alone in this view, maybe not, but per­son­al­ly I do not appre­ci­ate his views, his man­ner­ism, his behav­iors etc. Yet, I am in awe of his abil­i­ty to com­mu­ni­cate and to move peo­ple through his rhetoric… 
 
If you are able to pick out the skills of the peo­ple you find dif­fi­cult to con­nect with in your team, then you can eas­i­ly rec­om­mend this per­son to anoth­er team that may need those skills! 
 
Now let us imag­ine the mes­sage you are send­ing to your team. Remem­ber when you, hypo­thet­i­cal­ly, replaced some­one? What feel­ings and mes­sage did that gen­er­ate? How did that impact the dynam­ic of the team? Now let us imag­ine that instead you took this per­son who was not con­nect­ing and you offered them an oppor­tu­ni­ty some­where else… “Hi Joe Blogs, a good friend of mine called me today and asked if I knew any­one with X skills, they need this per­son to take on this role and I thought of you. Now, I know that you are a team mem­ber here but I thought I should talk to you as this seems like a great oppor­tu­ni­ty. What do you think?”
 
Would you like to be treat­ed in this way?
 
As the har­mo­ny of the team returns when this indi­vid­ual leaves, what would your team mem­bers think? Would they believe that you are look­ing out for them and have their inter­ests in your heart or that you see them as dis­pens­able? If they see you as a car­ing per­son will this improve or hin­der com­mu­ni­ca­tion?
 
Let me know your thoughts!

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