In an earlier post, we talked about the first critical step towards creating a well-aligned, motivated and productive team. You must have a clear direction, mission or goal for that team to be aligned around, before you have any hope of having an aligned team.
What’s the second critical step? Well, at the risk of sounding obvious, here it is…
You have to let everyone on the team know what that direction, mission or goal is.
I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me and my colleagues at The Latimer Group. We are working with a client… They ask us for help with an unproductive team… We ask a few questions and learn that the leader thinks the team has a clear goal… And then we ask a few team members and find out none of them has any idea what the goal is. It happens all the time.
So, step one is to set a clear direction. Step two is make sure everyone on the team knows what that direction is. We always recommend getting the group together in a room, or in a virtual environment if that is the only option, and discuss in detail the direction, mission or goal of the team. Make sure everyone hears the same thing at the same time. Encourage people to ask question and discuss. Because only when everyone on the team understands where you are trying to lead them do you have any realistic hope of aligning them around the goal.
Sounds pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Well, it is. But the simple fact is that most teams don’t do this very well.
Let us know what you think.
At The Latimer Group, we believe that successful teams are built on honesty, open communication, and collaboration. For more on team building and team communication, look for Dean Brenner’s book, Sharing the Sandbox: Building and Leading Great Teams in the 21st Century, on sale now.
Photo by Torsten Reimer distributed under the following license.
[…] Collaboration, on the other hand, was perceived by the respondents to mean something far better than cooperation. Collaboration meant that the people were truly working together, and in full alignment. […]