If you are a company leader, you’ll inevitably find yourself in a tough situation with your team.
Our current crisis is serving as a test for businesses and leaders to lead their teams through an uncertain time.
When you find yourself in a tough leadership situation, you might be tempted to strike out in many directions and try to fix everything at once. However, a better approach is to take step–by–step, methodical approach to navigating a tough team dynamic.
Admittedly, every team situation is unique. There’s no one size fits all solution for difficult team dynamics. However, there are a few tips that apply to most situations. Consider the following steps to take for the next time you have to navigate the storms of a tough leadership situation.
Clearly Define the Problem
A difficult leadership situation might be pretty obvious to you, but you shouldn’t assume that it is obvious to your team members. Some of your employees might not even know there’s a problem or the scope of the problem. Some might suspect there’s a problem but not know the severity of it. Some might know there is a serious problem afoot, but don’t know the causes or possible solutions.
To clear up any uncertainty, you need to start by clearly defining the problem in all of its various facets. Make sure you do so in a calm, factual manner. Don’t let your frustration bubble up or your emotions take over when explaining the problem to your team.
Lay Out Negative Behaviors and Impacts
Next, describe particular behaviors that must shift, and offer specific examples of desired behavior so team members have a clear understanding of expectations.
Address misconceptions and steer clear of emotional debates. Use objective information to quantify impact on the company and other people. For instance, if the team is missing deadlines, explain how delays affect the work of other employees and the company.
Engage Team Members
You aren’t going to make much progress unless team agrees there is a problem, and the problem must be solved. Buy-in is imperative!
One way to do this is to engage them with two-way conversation. After you have laid out the problem, ask for feedback and input. Then, work with team members to develop a plan to address the problem. Lay out specific terms of what must be done and how progress will be measured.
Work the Plan
Once you’ve laid out a plan based on complete engagement with your team members, you have to work the plan. Track progress based on the metrics you established and provide feedback, both positive and negative, when necessary. Celebrate the milestones you achieve and take corrective action when needed.
We Can Help
At Cornerstone, we help company leaders lead effective teams by providing them with custom-fit talent acquisition solutions. Please contact us today to find out how we can provide top talent for your team.