Improved team behaviours starts with you
Are you modelling the types of team behaviours that you want your team to project?
I was reading an article recently by AFL reporter David Sygall who said “They say sporting teams come to reflect the personality of the coach. A coach who worries will lead a team that panics under pressure. One who is disorganised will lead a team that loses focus. And a coach who complains will lead a team of excuse makers.”
It got me thinking about how much our leadership impacts the action, behaviour and results of our teams.
Our team members are constantly watching us, feeding off our energy, learning what actions and behaviours are acceptable, rewarded and recognised and each and every day without even realising they become more like us. Scary but true!
Just like the ripple from a pebble being thrown into a pond… your attitude and behaviours as a leader will trickle down to your followers, and the way you treat your team, is the way they’ll treat those who work below them.
Change starts with YOU.
So when we are dissatisfied with the performance, behaviours or the attitude of our team the first place we need to look for solutions is within ourselves. Yes I know, the knee jerk reaction is usually to look for answers externally, but so often this is not where the improvements lie.
Think about it. If you work long hours, send emails late into the night and check in on the team even when you are on leave, do you think you are setting the standard for your team to do the same???
If you are consistently late for meetings, pay only lip service to the annual performance review process and take every opportunity to shift the blame for poor project delivery or team performance …. then how can you expect any different from your team???
The way you show up every day at work matters. Your actions and behaviours are contagious and you will shape the development of your team.
3 Simple Steps To Improved Team Behaviours
Here is a simple model I use regularly with my coaching clients to help them to consciously design the type of leader they would like to be.
(Hint: Do this exercise now … it will only take 5 – 10 but will have a huge impact on your effectiveness.)
Step 1. Get clear on the type of team you would like to CREATE.
Brainstorm how you would like your team to be. Start by thinking about how you would like other people to describe your team. Would they say they are innovative, supportive, collaborative, fun, easy to work with, responsive? What sort of results would you like them to achieve? What type of characters would you like to have on the team? What skill sets are important?
Step 2. Identify the type of leader you need to BE.
Now that you are clear on your team, now think about who do you need to BE as a leader to create that team. Do you need to be driven, creative, courageous, determined, focused, fun, a developer of people, caring, strategic, goal orientated, daring?
Remember who you each day in your role as a leader will set the tone for your team.
What aspects of the managers and leaders who you know would you like to emulate? Which aspects do you NOT want to take on? What areas of your leadership could you focus more on to ensure that you create the team as you have described it in step 1.
Step 3. Take action. What do you need to DO to create the team you want?
Improving your teams performance most often includes taking action towards self improvement! We can not expect exceptional performance from our team if our own standards are a little sloppy.
So if you are turning up late to meetings… commit to being on time. If your attitude sucks… fix it! If you consistently take the easy route rather than being bold, innovative and solution focused then it is time to shift gears and seek more than mediocre results.
Ask yourself the tough question. Which of your behaviours are holding your team back? Make a commitment today to show up in a bigger and better way that will allow your team to grow and thrive.
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