One of my favorite resources for team cohesion comes from thought leader, author and founder of The Table Group, Patrick Lencioni. You may recognize some of his book titles, such as “The Ideal Team Player,” “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” and “The Advantage”.
Part of the reason I appreciate Lencioni’s work so much is that he and his team address today’s business challenges with pragmatic strategies that can be implemented right away. I have seen his work improve communication and productivity firsthand, which is why I highly recommend that my clients take advantage of his resources (if you haven’t already done so).
Lencioni recently offered a webinar called “Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Virtual team” — clearly, a relevant subject! He opens by discussing Trust as the foundation of a high-performance team, and works his way through Conflict, Commitment, Accountability and Results. If you are interested, the hour long webinar can be found here on The Bulletin Board.
Today I’d like to share the main ideas of the webinar, collected by my colleague, leadership coach Gretchen Reid of Integrated Growth. Enjoy!
- Ignore efficiency for the sake of effectiveness – it’s more important right now to be effective, not necessarily efficient as everything might take a little bit longer in this virtual space and that’s ok.
- Ignore professionalism for the sake of personalism – it’s more important to be human right now and let go of some of the office professionalism (I would add perfectionism as well as it not about being perfect right now)
- Check in with each other personally
- Be a vulnerable leader – show your own vulnerability and share some of your own struggles
Have Constructive Conflict
- You know you’re clicking back in as a team when you can have conflict via zoom (or another virtual platform)
- Conflict is the only way to make good decisions – especially during this time
- Don’t be afraid to debate, brainstorm, and argue
- Have grace and forgiveness for one another
- Watch the faces (on the screen) for signs of disagreement and mine for conflict
- Challenge each other respectfully
- Don’t let the rest of the team mute or shut off their videos when a conflict arises – be present with conflict
Get to Active Commitment
- Have team members weigh in on decisions
- Call people out and ask for their input and perspectives
- Have honest discussion and debate
- Before you end the meeting or move onto the next topic write or re-state what you just agreed to and get thumbs up
Hold Each Other Accountable
- Create a culture of peer-to-peer accountability by modeling holding each other accountable
- Choose how and when to hold team members accountable during this time of crisis and working from home
- Be aware of what else might be going on for the individual right now
- You can still do this in a kind way even during crisis – or even more importantly during crisis
Get Collective Results
- Break down the silos by having team meetings
- Create a rally cry for this period of time: re-declare your rally cry to your immediate mission during this time
- Build your priorities around the current rally cry
- Change the rally cry as things change
Below are a few Questions for your team that might help you use this period as a real-time team building and set you up for success into the future.
- What have you learned during this time (personally, professionally, about our team)?
- What critical moments have you stepped into and what outcomes have your experienced?
- What wins have we had as a team? What challenges have we overcome?
- What do you appreciate about our team?
- What innovations (new products or services) have we come up with that might benefit us on the other side?
- What processes have we reimagined?
- What team behaviors do we want to take into our future?
- What team behaviors are we ready to leave behind?
Many of us are still adjusting to a new paradigm and working out the benefits and the challenges of navigating virtual communication within teams. If you or your team would benefit from support during this challenging time and you aren’t sure of the next steps, let’s connect. Together, we’ll brainstorm what might be needed and determine the best path forward.
Photo Source: LeadingWithTrust.com