How well do you know your team members?

Dear Mr. General Manager, in your agenda, some time ago, you were involved in the process of merging two companies. From here, emerged new itineriaries, changes, new technologies and innovation. You set up a new board committee, with people specialized in technology, systems, market access issues. But you haven’t consulted any HR representative in order to guide this merging process. Because you didn’t believe, maybe, that it might be needed. And then came the internal crisis period: people less involved within the team, weak results, although you were convinced that the new system can be perfectly functional. But what about the people? Well, people didn’t adapt because they weren’t prepared, their merits weren’t recognized or simply they didn’t want to be involved in this process. And then you start wondering what can you do?
Your first reaction was to ask for a higher and higher work effort. But this wasn’t the solution. When you have large losses and the only solution you choose is to work harder, if you don’t do other changes also, the only result is that you would have a bigger loss. Then I ask you: You have booked some moments from your time to do a step back and look up widely and say "Ok, what can I do differently from now on, because working hard it is not a solution? ".
You will say "Ok, I understand, it is about the role of HR, about more active involvement of this department; let’s do some teambuilding sessions and everything will be fine." Yes, it is very nice to create cohesion between people, to carry out together nature activities, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can change something within your team.
People, Mr. General Manager, feel happy when they are involved, when they are understood and listened to. Twenty years ago everybody wanted to work within a multinational company, but I think that this will be happening more rarely. Except the case, I consider, in which the company is able to change the way of working and to provide the means that meet the expectations of people at that time. Because yes, it is about people and their expectations. I don’t want to talk about an example as the Southwest Airlines company, who considers that the profit is guaranteed if the employee is happy, because then the customer is happy and if the customer is happy the shareholder will be happy. I don’t want to praise, I just want to bring into question the leader you can get out from preservation and you can put to work.
Leadership means more than management, control, following procedures. It is about the emotions that people from a team feel referring to the products and services of the company in which these people are working. To say "we are not interested in the emotions, we don't deal with emotions" isn’t exactly an inspired approach and I contradict you: "Oh, yes - because the product you sell means emotion": the phone to whom you advertise, the delicious yogurt and full of vitamins, the diaper sought a lot by mothers. And yes, if you want to make profit, think before if people of your own team are satisfied with what they are doing and feel part of this company. Not to speak about the values they are representing.
Moreover, I think that the leader inside you must be a bit lazy. Yes, you have read well, a little lazy, because it means that other people of the team are doing their job. And the leader who does this is the one who manages to meditate about one’s person, about the effects of his behavior on the rest of the team.
I found out this during my meetings with various CEOs, managers, directors and presidents of companies, with their teams, within the individual coaching sessions, teamcoaching and during the workshops with horses that I organized for leaders. I was asked to handle various situations of internal crisis. There were visible conflicts, but those who "cause pain" are the basement crises, invisible, when people are having fun, they are laughing together, but in fact they don’t trust each other, don’t help each other, they are not supporting each other. It is amazingly what can be observed during the workshop with horses which we are organizing: when the conflict emerges, this can be seen from the way in which people of the team are working with horses. During the exercises they are not listening one to another, when someone says something some of them are totally absent, they are looking at the phone, are looking at the sky or don’t cooperate at all. And they are easily recognizable and you can take even photos with those who are outside of the team. If you are very careful, easily you will notice all this and you maybe you will be able to see the painful "abscess". Thus, you will realize what you have to do, how and with what to treat "the wound".
And have you ever wondered yourself: „Why should I go further, why should I use audit programs, apply procedures, increase the work volume, why an additional consumption of resources when I have at hand a simple option – to listen and to give more attention to the people of my team?".
I will make you a confession: the most important lesson that I learned in time is to be humble, to listen to all beautiful stories of people. People are extremely flexible and they are passing through the change step-by-step, I found out how they are dealing with everyday situations, how can they solve many things and how uniques they are, everyone in his own way.
What if you start to be a leader? To begin to know better the people of your own team?

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