Team Dynamics Articles

Improve Team Decision-Making

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 8/29/2013

I’ve been working with a number of teams lately who seem to struggle with decision-making. A couple of frequent complaints include:

  • “Decision-making takes too long. We’re trying to make decisions by consensus but we just never get anywhere.”
  • “It doesn’t matter what we say, the manager/leader always makes the decision.”
  • “We make a decision but then we just revisit it at the next meeting.”

If these protests sound familiar, you are not alone. It is quite common for teams to have difficulty with decision-making.

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Treat Everyone as a Game Winning Player

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 4/11/2013

I’m a big college basketball fan. I love March Madness and despite the experts discussions about how the game is hard to watch today (for a variety of reasons), I enjoy the pageantry and competition. You may not be a Louisville fan, but you can’t deny the coaching prowess of Rick Pitino. Elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame on the same day he became the first coach to win national championships at two universities, Pitino is also no stranger to the concept of leadership.

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Lack of Communication?

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 10/11/2012

Over the last 16 years, we’ve conducted a myriad of assessments for our clients. Whether 360 degree feedback, culture studies, team assessments, or employee opinion surveys, we often hear about a “lack of communication” within the organizations we work with. My guess is within the organization you work you hear that there is a lack of communication as well. But what does this actually mean? Does anyone in your organization know?

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Increasing Personal Accountability

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 8/9/2012

I regularly work with teams in the course of my job. The members change, the tasks are different, the timelines vary—but, one thing I have seen far too often is dysfunctional behaviors that get in the way of success.

I’m not talking about miscommunication, a few dropped balls, or workload challenges. While not easy, these are the issues that are part of our every day working life. I’m talking about true dysfunction that often manifests itself in backbiting and nastiness and leads to dissatisfaction and morale issues (not to mention lost productivity).

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Rewarding Others: Personal Currencies

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 8/1/2012

One of the challenges many managers face is determining how to engage, motivate and reward their workforce. While financial incentives do have a part to play, they often are not enough to keep employees “happy” with their work.

Not long ago I was discussing this topic with colleagues and the phrase “personal currency” came up. The theory behind personal currency is that each of us place a high value on different things in our work lives. Those things we value most are our currency. For example, some individuals find the most value from monetary rewards or advancement opportunities. Others covet flexibility of schedule or autonomy in their work. Still others place a high value on skill development or involvement in a variety of projects. The list of personal currencies can go on and on.

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Observe Leadership in Action

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 6/5/2012

“Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” –Heywood Brown, American journalist

I’ve been watching a lot of high school baseball recently. I have a nephew whose team is in the state high school tournaments—and, at least as of this blog post, they are continuing to win and make their way to the state finals.

As I’ve been enjoying the “national past time,” I’ve been paying a lot of attention to leadership. Leadership in baseball (as in organizations) happens at all levels. You can learn a lot by observing leaders in action—both in and outside of organizational life. And, in baseball, as in organizations, you can observe leadership in action on a regular basis (and you also notice the implications of a lack of leadership). Here’s what I’ve noticed:

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Walk a Mile…

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 5/17/2012

“We always admire the other fellow more after we have tried to do his job.”
–William Feather (1889 – 1981), American author and publisher
An age old problem in business is how individuals work together. I’ve had several leaders say to me, “If we didn’t have to deal with all of this stuff, we could concentrate on running the business.” The “stuff” in question is human dynamics—what makes individuals and teams work; and, what most definitely gets in the way of productivity and performance.

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The Myth of the Charismatic Leader

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 5/9/2012

When you hear the word “leader,” what images pop in your head? Often it’s the gregarious, outspoken, energetic, showman, whose personality seems larger than life – someone who is able to rally and motivate employees with their words. But what if you are not gregarious, outspoken, or a master presenter? Can you be a leader that others will follow?

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Create a Department Vision

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 3/16/2012

Your company has a clear organizational mission and vision.  If you are lucky, the mission and vision can be differentiated from that of other organizations (e.g., “We want to be the premiere…”).   Values are espoused and drive organizational behavior.  So, how do you take the organizational vision and roll it down to your department or team?  How do you ensure that your team’s efforts align with that of the overall organization?

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Increase Resiliency in Your Employees

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 2/28/2012

It is no secret that the pace, speed and complexity of change is greater than ever before.  According to some sources, the estimated rate of change doubles every 10 years.  This accelerated pace of change requires more adaptable workers and nimbler organizations.  Resiliency has become a core competency for employees at all levels.  It is important to recognize that as a leader, you help create an environment which contributes or detracts from employees’ ability to be resilient.

Employees are more resilient when they work in environments characterized by support, trust, and open communications.  What do you do to create this environment?

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