Leadership Trevolution Blog


Blog Entries by Tag: Culture

Three Leadership Skills That Result In Collaboration

Published on: Oct 29, 2012 | Tags: Team Leadership, Teamwork, Productivity, Feedback, Culture

In his book, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, Leonard Mlodinow cites research on how we as humans tend to inflate our performance. This isObservation called the “above-average effect.” Researchers have found that, when asked, as many as ninety percent of us believe we are above average. This is a risky perspective, to believe something about myself that may be contrary to evidence. 

I recently asked a group of leaders who are going through our Leading Teams course how they know their skill as a leader is growing. The course develops both leadership skills and capacities that revolutionize the way people work together. A leader should be able to see that kind of change in his or her team, don’t you think? 

We concluded a leader knows his or her skill is increasing when he or she deploys leadership practices that are intentional and appropriate for  team and individual needs, resulting in improved teamwork and performance. In other words, people work together better and get more done. 

Collaboration is a key component of effective teamwork. It results in exceptional individual and group performance. A leader can evaluate his or her skill in developing team collaboration based on observed behavior and measured outcomes. These are the indicators of leadership skill.  

Leaders take the first step toward team collaboration by developing skills. A leader can learn and develop three foundational skills to benefit from team collaboration. 

Skill 1 -Establish a collaborative team culture

Team culture influences how the people work together. It can develop intentionally as a leader defines it clearly, or it can develop unintentionally as nature takes its course. Leaders who want a collaborative team culture skillfully ensure it develops. 

Skill 2 – Observe and identify collaborative and non-collaborative behavior

A leader can classify individual behavior as collaborative or non-collaborative. While many leaders observe behavior, mostly that which they do not appreciate, they may not practice classifying it as collaborative or non-collaborative. The skill of observation and classification may appear inconsequential, but it is foundational to providing actionable feedback and direction. 

Skill 3 – Direct and redirect people toward collaborative behavior

Providing timely, actionable feedback to people is an essential skill for developing collaboration in your team. Being a leader who is respected and trusted positions you to be heard as one who both desires a great work environment for his or her team and high performance.

  The article, 65% of Americans Choose a Better Boss Over a Raise -- Here's Why, by Ty Kiisel quotes research by Michelle McQuaid, which is reflected in the article’s title. While I do not suggest leaders begin to constantly second-guess themselves, it is important to have an accurate understanding of your effectiveness as a leader. 

An accurate perspective on leadership skills and capacities reveals strengths as well as opportunities for growth. A leader who invests in developing skills and increasing capacity makes a real difference in his or her team. 

Our next complimentary webinar, Leading Your Team to Collaborate, will provide insight into the three skills mentioned above. We will host it on Friday, November 16 at 1 PM Central Time. If you would like to learn more or to sign up please click here.

The Power of Patterns of Behavior

Published on: Jan 30, 2012 | Tags: General, Team Leadership, Productivity, Culture, Systems

It is that time of the year when health club attendance increases. Frustrating as it is for those who are there throughout the year, it happens every New Year. People make resolutions that involve healthy living as evidenced by a new workout regimen. If you are one of the frustrated few, never fear because the numbers will decline to very near where they were in December within a couple of months. This is an annual dynamic I have lived through for several years. It has been said that we humans are creatures of habit. For that reason new workout routines don’t last long. We live in patterns of behavior that, while can be changed, usually are not. That makes observation and awareness of behavioral patterns a critical skill for a leader.

Your team, if it has been together for any length of time, has established patterns of behavior. You participate in these patterns, which you usually experience as an unexamined, unconscious part of your day. The ones you notice are probably creating pain for you, but the fact that it is a pattern suggests you have not done anything that really changes it. You may have inherited behavioral patterns another leader set in motion and you are not sure what can be done about them. The importance of identifying your team’s patterns becomes clear when you consider that short term productivity and long term direction will both be determined by them.

As a leader there is another important reason to pay attention to the patterns of behavior in your team. You are creating them. The patterns that exist in your team, if you have been leading it for a period of time, are there because of your action or inaction. The leader is responsible to develop a team whose behavioral patterns support individual and group success. As you observe your team, including you, determine which patterns support individual and group productivity and success. Alternatively, define the negative behavioral patterns that undermine the group. What do you think will happen if you proactively move your team from unproductive to productive behavioral patterns?

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