Posts Tagged ‘Team Dynamics’

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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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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Why Most Managers are Illogical

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 12/20/2011

You as a manager or leader are illogical. While not ill-intended, the way in which you interact with your direct reports often disregards the rules of logic and weakens your organization. Here’s a test of logic: taking inventory of the amount of time you spend with your team of direct reports, how much time do you spend with your “low performers” and how much time you spend with your “high performers?”

Those of you that tend to spend more time with low performers are illogical – here’s why:

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Who Surrounds You?

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 8/18/2011

Who Surrounds You2I’m a firm believer that as a leader you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Surround yourself with great people (who are a good fit to your culture and environment) and you are on the road to success. Yet, I regularly see leaders who want to be the center of it all. They feel like they need to be the smartest ones in the room. Instead of sharing information, they withhold it thinking it gives them power. They let their egos and/or insecurities get in the way. They fail to invest in their team because they are afraid that that if their team members look too good, they will look bad (e.g., stupid, not knowledgeable, less skilled). As it turns out, they end up “looking bad” because the team isn’t as successful as it could be. And they only have themselves to blame.

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3 Tips for Increasing Team Effectiveness

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 6/14/2011

As I have worked with leaders and frontline employees over the years, it is apparent that they know exactly what good teamwork is and isn’t; however, the steps to achieve good teamwork seem more elusive.

Many leaders don’t know how to build an effective team because they say that they have never been part of a really great team.  They don’t know what behaviors and actions should be created and replicated.  While there are many factors that contribute to team effectiveness, if a leader pays attention to three key areas, s/he will set the foundation for great teamwork:

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A Story…And a Leadership Lesson

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 2/22/2011

Leadership lessons are all around us…if we observe, listen and learn. Sometimes we learn from successes; sometimes missteps teach us the most.

The Story

My friend (a mid-level manager) was talking with his boss (the organization’s General Manager) about some accomplishments in his department. My friend was pleased with results from the previous month and he talked about how he praised his staff (giving credit for) the wins. The GM then “coached” my friend (his manager) by saying, “Haven’t I taught you anything. As the boss you get to keep the credit and place the blame.”

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