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 is 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.