Why is there conflict within my team? Why does it seem like John and I can’t communicate? Why can’t this be one of those high performance teams I hear about? How do I cut the drama?
Have you asked yourself questions like these? The best part of working with people is that everyone is different. The most difficult part of working with people is that everyone is different! Everyone is a little different in each of these respects and that can cause interpersonal conflict – or can result in a diversified, dynamic, high performance team. As a leader, how do you go from drama to dynamic?
Each person seems to be made for certain ways of operating that make them feel good about what they’re doing. Each of us also has basic needs that, if not fulfilled, will cause stress and make it difficult to be productive. Additionally, we have certain expectations of how others should approach us and how we should approach them.
About 75% of your team members have needs and expectations that are different from yours. They are also different from the needs and expectations of the other team members. That’s why it’s so important to get to know your team members, and help them get to know you.
What do you need to know about your team members? Find out how they communicate with each other. Learn what they like to do and what team responsibilities they seem better equipped for. Consider how those tendencies are different from your own. Armed with this knowledge, you’re on your way to successful team leadership.
When you know yourself and know your people, you’ll avoid all that team conflict, right? No, you won’t avoid all conflict, but you will reduce unhealthy conflict and be able to turn interpersonal differences into healthy conflict that benefits the team.
In some of our newsletter articles, you might have noticed references to colors when talking about graduates of our leadership development programs. For those who haven’t been able to attend a program yet, let me explain.
Every leadership development program we facilitate starts with the MyHardwired™ profile which is an assessment that measures the dominant styles of a leader’s personality in three dimensions – preferred style (what they like to do), expectations (what they believe they ought to do), and instinctive needs (what they need to do). The results are represented with green, red, yellow, and blue colors mapped against the three dimensions.
The MyHardwired profile helps each person gain a better understanding of who they are and why they do what they do. It also provides insight into how they react to different types of personalities. That’s how you start leading high performance teams.
Your team is a dynamic group of individuals. What are you doing to understand them better?