Some situations are simply loaded. The tension, fear, and/or anger are palpable and crippling. Turf wars, individual vulnerabilities, personality conflicts, frustration over slow progress, and past insults are among the most common causes.
Other situations start off on better footing, but decay quickly despite everyone’s best intentions.
I’ve walked into both situations numerous times. In some cases, I’ve been hired because of these problems. Other times, the CEO is oblivious to the dysfunction. In one such case, a Board member told me confidentially that they all needed psychotherapy. I laughed, but she was dead serious.
When leaders recognize they have a problem like this, their tendency is to take everyone to an off-site retreat or hire someone to do team building. Millions are spent on activities ranging from ropes courses to group dinners every year.
Most fail miserably. The best have a fleeting impact.
Because these people who are struggling aren’t immature, cantankerous, or flawed human beings. They don’t have attitude problems or poor people skills. They just want to get things done right. They don’t want people hurt or money wasted or painfully slow progress. They would much prefer to be part of an effective team and most of them try to do exactly that all day long.
So what is the problem?
The problem is that their efforts to work together are missing one critical ingredient.
I am known for moving groups, no matter how dysfunctional, to shared conclusions in record time. People, even those who’ve seen me do it, often ask what my secret is. So let me share that secret now.
I don’t do team building. I am not touchy-feely. I don’t cajole or placate the “difficult” people. Nope. I give them, and everyone else, the missing ingredient that would prevent strife and gridlock on a daily basis in companies all over the world. I give them process clarity.
- When people agree on the starting point – what’s been done or decided already
- When they have a shared understanding of what needs to be achieved and why
- When they understand the necessary steps to achieving their objectives
- When they understand who needs to contribute and why each step of the way
- When they know the difference between decisions made and those still open for negotiation
- And when they know how they themselves can contribute – how they can help fashion the outcomes, how decisions will be made, how to respond effectively at each step, when to speak up and when to wait
When all six of these are true and trustworthy, they can relax. They can let go. They have nothing to fear. They can trust the process will produce good results. The personalities, history, and individual agendas are irrelevant in the face of a clear and trustworthy process.
Without process clarity, people struggle daily to work together effectively and quickly. With process clarity, they feel good about their own contributions, see obvious progress, and get great results.
Would you appreciate faster results, greater confidence, and significantly increased employee commitment? Would you like to see process clarity in action? Let’s talk. Contact me by email or at 1-800-527-0087.