Why Teams Dissolve…..

"I can't take this anymore,I'm leaving…" What?????

It didn't start in like a day. I had been contemplating for a few weeks.

There was no motivation, no challenge,chaos and most prized, an extremely dysfunctional management team.

But amidst all that….I was still willing to stay….

It was weird. Very Weird. The amount of pain and abuse and dysfunction I was willing to take….

It said volumes of me….

low self esteem.abuse acceptor,boss pleaser…..

and I didn't mind UNTIL……

Management stopped this one thing…

this one thing that dropped the ball big time and heavy….

Then I started talking to the people who had left before….

"I couldn't stand management"

"They were a controlling bunch"

"Couldn't believe how long I stayed there"

Then analyst in me tried to look for a common theme, a common pattern….

and then I finally found it…..

SILENCE.

Yes. Silence.

Despite all the bickering, despite the differences, despite the dysfunction

When teams STOP talking they dissolve.

My wife Loise helps women in challenging relationships…..

She occasionally hosts roundtable conversations…..

and the one major indicator if a relationship is going to survive or dissolve…?

The minute the couple stops talking….

Assumptions spiral out of control,

we assume the worst….

we hope for the best but our brain is telling us it's "wishful thinking"

so with our minds spiralling out of control,

no conversation, tension brewing…

eventually an outlet is inevitable….

That's what happens to couples  on "ID discovery"

Will there be instances where people are past conversations….

Absolutely……

But if the conversations were present from day one…..

the opportunity to address those potential instances would have been 

"nipped in the bud…"

Maybe you weren't a match….

Time would have been saved…..

But these flashes of insight can only be identified through conversations…..

So how do you start the conversation….?

First the minute it comes from you having an agenda…..

it's done….kaput over…..

Don't even try to officiate the agenda or the plan…

Your work as a leader is to "curate the environment" for conversation to happen.

Problem with the team I was in…

the managers had controlling agendas….

"Listen" like you care….then do whatever you want….

that won't work…

Not in  2017…..

There are options…always

and they wondered why no one partcipated….

and they were shcoked when the remaining team was only managers….

they were so good at managing they manage each other….

Before I move forward there's 3 drivers of conversation

  1. To share discoveries…
  2. To be understood…
  3. To be heard…..

Now if you can not be heard, or your points are not being understood then you won't even be motivated to share new discoveries.

This is huge….

The solutions to most of your problems at work lie within your team members….

they are in the fore front doing the work, interacting with customers, doing the work….

not all solutions are valuable or worth considering, but some are….

Just allow them to at least give you feedback and implement some of the good points….

within a year, only 4 members were left from an entire team of 15.

Now that has to be interesting….if a small team in an intimate setting can't even get it together……

What happens if the team grows?

that's right the only way they move forward is by shrinking…..

The second most crucial part is TRUST.

You can't get to trust if you're not even talking right?

But having the conversation is where trust is built upon….

sometimes trust can be lost because of lack of understanding…

understanding the intent behind why things are being done….

that includes vulnerability…

You're scared of being a failure…..

somehow your employees are scared of you failing too…..

but you will become a failure if you don't communicate your fears….

a team will stand and stick by you tooth and nail…..

if you just be "striaght up" with them

will some use it against you….no doubt…

those are the best fires to fire…..

and you will be gald you did it too

becuase culture is as important as the work being done

and that can only start and grow through conversations….

conversation with the 3 drivers in mind.

What I've come to understand about trust is this….

You may not understand what the other party is doing….

It may not make sense at first…..

But as long as it's in the best interest of the party involved….

there lies trust….

and you have to communicate it along the way….

Don't regret losing great team members

Don't regret losing great partners…

Don't regret losing great friends….

because your ego came in the way….

because you were scared of looking…"weak / vulnerable / disorganized /______"

we will forgive you….

but we can't forgive not being straight up….

conversing……

when you could have saved the day by curating an environment for conversation…. 

even if you sit and stare at each other…..for an hour

that could be a start….

Oh before I leave…

I remember watching this documentary on one of the greatest interrogators alive….

this guy was an expert at extracting information from the most muted hardcore individuals….

how did he do that…..

amateurs go in for the jugular and try to get information as fast as possible….

by screaming and threatening…

until they find hardened criminals….

who'd rather cut out their own tongue out and swallow it

before they can have a conversation with you….

but el extractor….he's a professional

he went in and sat for an hour without speaking a word.

3 times a week….

then the following week he would go in with a sandwitch and eat it…without speaking a word…

then week 3….

he would offer a slice again without speaking a word

and thenweek 4 they would start the conversation….

eventually by week 6….

they are family members…..

he would get more than what he bargained in terms of information….

remember despite different circumstances…..

there is still humanity….

and everyone according to Dale Carnegie just "WANTS TO BE HEARD"

Cheers.

 

About The Author

Lee Kariuki

Systems and strategy. I grow businesses by simplifying them. What do your customers want, and what's in their way? Simple right? Reach me at admin@leekariuki.com.

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