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Paying Attention to Results Builds Strong Teams

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I have to admit; I do change my mind on occasion. So, this blog delivers on my prior blog’s promise to address Patrick Lencioni’s 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, but not fear of conflict. I think Lencioni positioned Inattention to Results at the top of his 5-part pyramid for a good reason. Addressing the other four dysfunctions can’t compensate for Inattention to Results. But paying attention to results binds a team together. Achieving high priority results that all agree on are reasons for celebration and fuel for team efforts in the future.

The Look of the Dysfunction – Inattention to Results

When a team operates without a focus on prioritized results, frustration builds; no one knows if they are doing the right things to succeed individually or as a company. Collaboration declines and egos, both individual and departmental, get in the way. Sarcastic remarks, debunking of other’s accomplishments and eye rolling diminishes a team’s effectiveness.

Minus clearly defined results, members of teams can be distracted by the “shiny stuff” – the latest trends, a competitor’s hair-brained activity, a team member’s off-target bright idea. A lack of collaborative effort on shared results can lead some team members to feel they are just not part of the club.

How to fix Inattention to Results

Identifying and prioritizing results is a critical first step involving CEO/owner and key managers – yes, a team! In our company we use Traction’s V/TO (Vision/Traction Organizer) to identify quarterly results (called Rocks in Traction). And once these rocks are identified, they are revisited regularly, in fact, every week in department meetings. These rocks/results then remain top of mind, not shuffled in a folder or file to be forgotten. When a team transparently shares both progress toward and barriers to achieving results, they have become a functioning team. Similar to SMART Goals where the M stands for measurable, we write rocks for accountability. Accountability affords two opportunities: celebrations of result achievement and changing course when activity is not producing results.

Be Sure to Focus on People as You Focus on Results

I like this Inc. Magazine article “5 Incredible Things That Happen When You Focus On Results And People” Travis Bradberry motivates leaders to define results while focusing on people at the same time. Simply put, leaders in companies need to do these things too:
• Deliver feedback to employees regularly, so they know if they are achieving results
• Put the right team of people together to execute a plan – hire and appoint thoughtfully
• Solve problems as a team – keep the team focused on opportunities and not fear. Yet, be brave and get the fears out in the open so these can be redefined as opportunities. As opportunists (in the best sense of the word), team members can collaborate, sharing potential solutions to problems. 
• Hire the best employees – set criteria before hiring, including a team member mentality
• Balance work and fun – check out this post from a company that gets this – (Fischer USA)

Results of Focusing on Results

There’s much to be gained when leaders and team members focus on results.
• There’s clarity of purpose because team members share a common goal and are working toward the same results.
• Communication improves as the team shares information ideas and feedback openly about progress toward desired results and barriers in the way.
• Resources are allocated efficiently since the team knows what the priorities are and don’t bend to whims.
• An accountability factor is present as a result of measurable results so achievements can honestly be celebrated and the need for change addressed.
• Team members are motivated when results are accomplished and celebrate successes together further increasing motivation.

Now back on track, my next blog will address the dysfunction Fear of Conflict. This is critical even in a highly functional team because as ideas and issues are debated, conflicts will arise, and team members need to face them to gather and wrestle with disagreements until positive activity that can accomplish results is decided.

If you’re having trouble with your team, give us a call. We are here to help!

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Maureen Bagg, VP of Client Services, Corporate Images

Maureen Bagg is a dedicated business resource to her clients, providing sales and marketing support along with virtual selling training and consultation. Reach her at 262-633-7772 or email mbagg@corporate-images.com.

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