Risk & Business Magazine General Insurance Service Spring 2021 - Page 14

TEAM CULTURE

CREATING A NEW

TEAM CULTURE

THIS IS A GREAT QUESTION . IF YOU ANSWER IT HONESTLY .

Your answer could lead to your success or demise as a leader . It could be the key factor in your personal and family relationships .

SO , LET ’ S ASK IT AGAIN . DO YOU PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS ?
Many of us may think “ plays well with others ” is a category for grading schoolchildren , not grown-ups like us . We tell ourselves , “ I ’ m a successful , confident adult . I shouldn ’ t have to constantly monitor if I ’ m being nice or if people like me .”
We may hold ourselves blameless for any interpersonal friction ; it ’ s always someone else ’ s fault , not ours . “ The other guy needs to change . I shouldn ’ t have to . In fact , I don ’ t need to , it ’ s his fault !”
Or we ’ re so satisfied with how far our behavior has already taken us in life that we smugly reject any reason to change . In other words , “ If it ain ’ t broke , don ’ t fix it .”
When my good friend Alan Mulally became CEO of Ford , he set to work to create an environment where the executive team , notorious for not working together , could learn to play well with each other . Through Alan ’ s leadership , the focus of the team and ultimately the focus of the entire company became , “ How can we help one another more ?”
It worked . The company survived through incredibly difficult times , and returned to achieving great success again through working together . If Ford had been a schoolyard , and the executives school children , they would have gotten the highest of marks in “ playing well with others ."

HOW WELL DOES YOUR TEAM PLAY TOGETHER ?

You can answer this question with your team by trying this simple four-step process , which I call “ team building without time wasting .” The steps are :
1 . In a team meeting ask each team member to rate “ How well are we doing ?” vs . “ How well do we need to be doing ?” in terms of teamwork . Have each member do this on paper . Have one of the members calculate the scores — without identifying anyone . On a 1-10 scale — with 10 being the highest score — the average evaluation from over 1,000 teams is “ We are a 5.8 . We need to be an 8.7 .”
2 . Assuming there is a gap between “ we are ” and “ we need to be ,” ask each team member to list two key behaviors that , if each other individual team member improved , could help close the gap and improve teamwork . Do not mention people — only behavior — such as listening better , clear goals , etc . Then list the behaviors on a flip chart and have the team pick the one that they believe will have the biggest impact .
3 . Have each team member conduct a three-minute , one-on-one meeting , with each of the other team members . ( Do this while standing and rotate as members become available .) In these sessions each person should ask , “ Please suggest one or two positive changes I can make individually to help our team work together more effectively .” Then have each person pick one behavior to focus on improving .
4 . Begin a regular monthly follow-up process in which each team member asks each other member for suggestions on how to continue their improvement based on their behavior the previous month . The conversations should focus on the specific areas identified for improvement individually as well as general suggestions for how to be better team members .
When asking for input the rules are that the person receiving the ideas cannot judge or critique the ideas . He must just listen and say “ thank you .” The person giving the ideas must focus on the future — not the past .
This is a quick and easy process that helps teams improve and helps team members become better team players . Try it for yourself and see ! +
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