Sometimes we make things way too hard. When it comes right down to it, there are four basic questions to answer if you want a high-functioning, drama-free team:
- What does my team need from me as a leader?
- What does my leader and team need from me as a team member?
- How will we handle conflict and broken agreements when they arise?
- What is my current growth strategy?
If the people on your team and in your organization can answer these questions with clarity and precision, you already know the result. If you or your people can’t, don’t panic. That’s actually more often the case, so you’re in good company. And, it might not be as hard as you think.
Understanding culture is really pretty simple. It’s direct, dynamic, and relational.
Direct: Every organization has a culture. It was, and continues to be, developed as the business grows and matures. The real question is whether you have a positive, proactive, and intentional culture versus a negative, reactive, or accidental one. A positive and mature culture rests on a foundation of a compelling vision from the top and a set of clear expectations and agreements with everyone who works there.
Dynamic: When you become intentional about creating the culture you want and the structures to support it, you quickly realize it’s not a one-and-done process. Once set, an organization’s culture is always in an ongoing process of development and refinement. The good news is that it becomes easier over time to evolve a good culture into a truly great one.
Relational: Culture is defined by a set of shared values and by the way people behave and interact with one another. In other words, it’s about how we relate, the strength of our relationships and our ability to manage our interactions in success and failure, ease and stress, predictability and chaos.
Most people do not have much, if any, experience working with healthy, mature teams and, assuming they didn’t learn it in school or at home, most don’t even know what it really means… let alone know how to create it or contribute to it. If they’ve never been held to a higher standard or called to a higher level of performance, that doesn’t mean they can’t learn. The cost of a drama-laden, emotionally immature, and low functioning team culture is high, and it isn’t just the direct loss of productivity. It’s also the loss of innovation, creativity, reputation, turnover, and job satisfaction at all levels. A negative culture can suck the energy levels down to zero, consume meetings, negate forward progress, and monopolize the brain power of your leaders, managers, and frontline people. In a positive culture, you will all have more mental, emotional, and intellectual capacity to solve challenges, drive business, and enjoy work again.
This week, my challenge to you is to answer these questions as a team and watch what starts to unfold. If you’d like a little help, schedule a call by emailing us at info@LionSpeak.net, and let’s explore how LionSpeak can help you create and elevate your team culture to a place where it operates on automatic at a very high level.
You can do this. It doesn’t have to be hard.
“Life is hard. Until it’s not.”
~~Dr. Sue Morter