State of Teams

 

Teams are the building blocks of any organization, and our working lives are becoming more team-oriented than ever before.

Over the past several decades, employees have devoted much more time to collaboration — in meetings, on phone calls, or via email and chat platforms. Engaging with their team(s) now accounts for over 60% of employees’ time.

This proliferation of teams, however, has complicated employees’ working lives. As teams become more complex, more fluid, and more remote, team members must navigate an environment in constant flux. That’s no easy task, and employees must be flexible, socially adept, and relationship savvy in order to navigate interpersonal challenges and achieve collective gains within and across teams.

Many individuals suffer from a critical teamwork skill gap in the workforce.

Despite the pressing need for highly effective and productive teams, many individuals are either unaware or unable to consistently practice the behaviors that will ensure team success. This is primarily because employees see teamwork as something that comes naturally to them and as learned only through personal experiences on teams. In other words, they don’t view teamwork as something they need to learn, especially when 99% of respondents in a recent Wiley survey consider themselves “good” and “effective” team members.

The consequences of this skill gap are astounding for individuals, teams, and employers.

The inability of many individuals to meet the changing demands of their workplaces can costs everyone – dearly. Not only do inefficient teams and poor teammates hinder organizations’ competitive advantage, but they affect productivity and workplace culture, too. What’s more, inefficient teams create greater employee turnover due to lower job satisfaction.

The good news is that nearly everyone agrees that teamwork skills can be developed and improved.

This means organizations can address the interpersonal skill gaps among employees and overcome—or, better yet, avoid—the staggering cost of ineffective teamwork by training and developing their workforce. Only by creating a working environment that values and promotes the building blocks of collective teamwork—from trust and commitment to accountability—and rewards high-performing teams, can organizations reap the benefits of efficient and effective teamwork.

The Five Behaviors® can change the way you team.

This powerful tool teaches participants the critical behaviors and interpersonal skills needed to work together effectively by combining Lencioni’s teamwork model with personalized insights. The result is a unique and impactful team development solution that empowers team members to rethink their approach to teamwork, shape new, more productive behaviors to increase productivity, and create a common language that completely redefines what it means to work together to drive results. To learn more, visit fivebehaviors.com/tenicewehmeyer

 

 

3 Ways to Act during this Crisis, or in any Stressful Environment

 

We are all in the midst of a crisis we’ve never experienced before. Today’s environment is not a result of something you said or did. Today’s crisis was brought upon us by a pandemic few could’ve imagined. As with any stressful situation, you are likely in a fight or flight mode and the stress hormone cortisol is flooding your brain and body.  When this happens, you get tunnel vision, you can’t think clearly, your creativity and ability to solve problems decreases and you aren’t as good at working with others. Awareness and understanding of what’s happening, allows you to take control of how you respond to those around you – the ripples you create. Below, I outline three ways you can act during this crisis – regardless of the environment and your situation.

Many of us are anxious, uncertain and possibly a bit agitated at the current “normal” in our places of work and in our homes – which for many is the same physical space. Maybe you haven’t worked remotely before, maybe helping your kids with distance learning isn’t your forte, and just maybe, you’re in an essential role and have to be at work.

STAYING CALM is one of the best actions you can take when feeling anxious, uncertain and restless during these stormy days. Some find it easier than others to remain calm on a normally stressful day, as well as during a crisis. Regardless, the current situation requires many of us to take a few deep breaths and remember how to stay calm.  For generations, leaders and many parents have advised us to “step back, take a deep breath and relax” during stressful times – because it works. If you don’t currently practice calming techniques, now would be a great time to start.  Begin with simple breathing exercises and build from there. If you have experience with mindfulness, yoga or meditation, now is the time to lean-in to your practice. 

During crises or times of stress, you may feel helpless, powerless or like your hands are tied behind your back. Public officials and other authorities are providing necessary guidelines and restrictions that are critical for your health and wellbeing but may be challenging to your normal business or practices at home. While following these guidelines and restrictions, this is not a time to show weakness, but instead, show control.

TAKE CONTROL over the situation even in unusual times. Whether it’s decision making for your company, your team or your family, now is the time to lead. Many around you may also be scared and feeling helpless or even weak due to their circumstances. You must first, STAY CALM in order to TAKE CONTROL. Taking control requires gathering information, being collaborative and showing empathy which are extremely more difficult when in fight or flight mode. Great dialogue with others involved will allow you to have what you need to TAKE CONTROL and move forward with others beside you.

Trying times often leave you feeling like you are not able to make decisions, are out of options or don’t have a choice of how to lead your company, your teams or even your family. During this pandemic, many choices have been taken away – maybe just temporarily. Regardless, you still have responsibilities to deliver so with each choice removed, you must make a different choice of how to move forward.

EXPLORE CHOICES – Start with the choices that have been removed and explore what options you have to do things differently. Challenge the status quo and look for new ways to accomplish what can no longer be done the same as before. Take this opportunity to innovate and find more efficient ways to operate that you can continue once this crisis is over. When you are exploring your choices, remember to STAY CALM and TAKE CONTROL.  By using the techniques outlined above, you are certain to open up a world of choices to explore.

Don’t allow crisis and stressful environment to impact the way you act, respond or lead. By creating awareness and mitigation strategies, you can STAY CALM, TAKE CONTROL and EXPLORE CHOICES to lead yourself, your company, your team and your family through the most turbulent times.

 

As The Impactful Engagement Architect, I can work with you to gain deep self-awareness of your leadership behaviors, architect a plan to solve your specific leadership challenge or help you build a cohesive leadership team. I would love for you to be highly effective during this crisis and other stressful situations in the future. I can help you know when, where and how to use your ripples so you can create a productive environment by STAYING CALM, TAKING CONTROL and EXPLORING CHOICES with those who matter the most.

I invite you to join my email list where I will continue to deliver valuable leadership tips directly to your inbox.

 

What was your biggest takeaway from this post?  I’m genuinely curious and will reply to every comment below, as always.

Finally, as you were reading this you may have thought of a boss, colleague or someone in your network that would find it useful, please share it with them – I would really appreciate it.

Talking Leadership with Bobby & JJ

 

Last month, Bobby and JJ allowed me to crash their radio show and talk about how leaders create self-awareness of their ripples.  Bobby Cortez and JJ Gorena are San Antonio based consumer advocates dedicated to bringing timely local market information through the wisdom of top tier professionals in the San Antonio Metro area.

Each week, they tap into topics such as law, taxes, finance, investment, insurance, home improvement, mortgage, credit repair, the local economy, and their favorite which is real estate. It was a pleasure for them to allow me to bring in my favorite subject of ripples and leadership development.

Bobby and JJ’s goal for every show is to educate the listeners on these various timely matters that will empower listeners to use learned information by engaging them to do something that’s very positive for themselves and their families.  My goal is coaching leaders to have ripples of productive impact on their organizations, their peers, their teams and even their family and friends. 

Facilitating positive change by improving thinking…

 

As a successful business leader, you already have high expectations for your performance—and that has you pulled in so many directions that you feel more stretch than impact.

It can be different.  What if…

What if your goals were so clear, and your direction so strong, that you were surpassing your own demanding expectations? What if your professional life left you with a lot more energy—instead of less and less—to devote to your personal life?

I can help get more of the results you want—by helping you become more of who you want to be.

As I have with hundreds of leaders and executives, I will work with you to identify the behaviors that help you thrive and the behaviors that get in the way of the results you want. Actions cause ripples. My systematic approach combines best practices, science and my personal investment in helping you—all to give you a deep awareness of your behaviors, actions and the ripples (good and bad) they create.

The result? More of the ripples you want, leading to even more of the results you need.

How we’ll approach this—together

You are in the middle of things, and if you’re like most successful leaders you have little chance of a “time out” to do our work together. The good news is that all that “stuff” you’re in the middle of—your current situation—is a rich source of information and insight. We’ll begin right there.

My coaching process is a systematic, intentional blend of tested techniques, science-based insights and a personal passion for helping leaders become and deliver what they aspire to—and often beyond.

We’ll begin by EXPLORING what’s most important to you—what you truly care about and the outcomes you desire in both your professional and personal lives. We’ll make the classical distinctions between the important and the urgent, and we’ll go beyond that to determine the size of obvious priorities and the subtleties of less obvious ones.

From that foundation, we’ll DIG DEEP to create a rich awareness of the true current state. Past clients tell me that the mutual trust and respect that I earn with them allows an open, honest dialogue that fuels our discovery. I’ll also conduct confidential interviews with your stakeholders—such as peers and employees—to get insights that none of us can ever acquire on our own. Our 1:1 conversations and interviews combined will uncover very specific behaviors that are getting in the way of ultimate effectiveness—as well as the strengths that fuel our success.

The core of our collaboration is REFINING your goals and desired outcomes as well as the strategies to achieve them. Here we’ll identify new and different behaviors to practice—while continuing to get feedback from key stakeholders. Clients find that in this stage, our work begins to fuel better decision making, clearer thinking, productive behavior change and—most important—personal accountability for our behaviors and the ripples that result.

You’ll GROW into the leader you want to become as your new behaviors start working and you continue your own cycles of exploration, digging deeper, and refining. When my clients see the results of more effectiveness and positive engagement with their teams, more hard-fought professional results, and more energy to invest in their personal lives, it’s like a cocktail of neurochemicals rush through their brains—creating their own ripples of motivation and excitement to sustain their new behaviors and continue growing into the leader they aspire to be.

Experience Coaching through Partnership, Purpose, Process & Performance

 

Partnership:  Welcome to International Coaching Week 2019.  Jenny Rogers is one of the UK’s most experienced executive coaches and the author of “Coaching Skills” which is often referred to as the “Bible” on how to coach successfully.  Jenny defines coaching as “a partnership of equals whose aim is to achieve speedy, increased and sustainable effectiveness through focused learning in every aspect of the client’s life.  Coaching raises self-awareness and identifies choices.  Working to the client’s agenda, the coach and client have the sole aim of closing the gaps between potential and performance.”  I love that definition and I’m thrilled to share this profession with Jenny and so many others who are focused on raising self-awareness.  I invite you to explore your hopes, strengths, and goals—through coaching.

Purpose: Our behaviors affect us, our teams, our colleagues, our family, and our friends.  How would it feel to be more connected, focused and aligned in your professional and personal life?  What if you could raise your self-awareness to align with your true purpose and make a significant difference in how you engage with those around you?  Imagine feeling less stress and frustration; more laughs, smiles, and harmony. First, create this in your own life by becoming deeply self-aware of your behaviors and how they impact those around you.  Then identify new and different behaviors to practice and watch the ripple effect you will create. If this sounds encouraging to you, I invite you to explore coaching.

Process: Don’t let anybody tell you the coaching process is easy. It takes courage and energy to become the leader you want to be. By digging in and asking tough questions, and then answering them honestly, you’ll gain often-surprising (and sometimes frustrating) insights about your situation, your goals and the behaviors that help or hinder your effectiveness. With a coach, together, you can set a direction and define the steps to begin moving in the direction that defines an accomplished and ever-growing leader.

Performance: I’m certainly not a statistics guru so I rely on the experts. In a recent article, I read the following; the Institute of Coaching cites that over 70% of individuals who receive coaching benefited from improved work performance, relationships and more effective communication skills. They also reported that 86% of companies feel that they recouped the investment they made into coaching.  Those are odds I would bet on – don’t gamble with your effectiveness alone.  Increase your odds, deliver on your goals and improve your results – engage with a coach!