3 Things Leaders Should Do Now to Create a Chaos-Resistant Team
Change is constant. Chaos is a choice.
I delved into that topic on the last blog post. As we continue to face disruption, the question is: How will you and your team respond?
Today, I want to expand on that article and share three actions leaders should take right now to challenge your teams to react to change with discipline, rather than chaos.
1. LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND, NOT TO REPLY
Does your team listen to understand, or listen to reply? Most people listen to reply. This is a common challenge across companies. In fact, Stephen Covey has called it our biggest communication problem.
Leaders seem to inherently repeat the same instructions to their teams over and over again. In reality, they are not taking time to evaluate where their team’s understanding is and if they need to adjust their message to them. For instance, a leader can tell their team to do X, Y, and Z. But if they don’t ask if the team understands how to do X, Y, and Z, then they leave the conversation under the impression that the objective is clear, when it is actually not.
To alleviate this issue, make sure you have the team’s full attention, ask them to repeat back the instructions to you, and consider providing a written supplement to support your instructions.
2. Create Alignment and Accountability
This is an extension of number one. Does your team understand what “good” looks like? Alignment and accountability are even more important today, with the prevalence of hybrid and remote work. Without accountability, you risk a lack of ownership in ensuring work is done correctly.
An aspect of accountability is understanding the root cause of any issues that occur. If your team doesn’t accomplish an objective, is that a result of a poor judgment or decision making? Or a productivity issue that occurred on the frontline?
Clearly defining roles and having regular conversations around objectives and outcomes can help ensure you stay on track.
3. Focus on Performance Not Profit
When economic downturns occur, leadership teams become hyper-focused on numbers, transactions, and activities. Think: Profitability, revenue, sales.
But when you’re trying to combat disruption with discipline, the trick is to instead focus first on how the team is working together and performing. Not on what the team is supposed to be producing. This may seem counterintuitive. But sustainable, repeatable numbers and results go to the heart of how a team performs.
Consider a situation where a team has been pushed hard. They hit their numbers, but have been demoralized and burnt out. They can’t repeat that performance on a consistent basis. We call that a “one and done.”
On the other hand, if you focus on how the team interacts, they will become a well-oiled machine that can withstand and effectively react to change.
Put these three tips into action, and you and your team will be disciplined and positioned to transform your greatest challenges into your greatest opportunities.
TRANSFORM DISRUPTION INTO OPPORTUNITY
Do you need help working through leadership challenges to transform disruption into opportunity? Contact us to learn about Bill’s leadership keynote speaking, executive coaching, and facilitation services.