The fastest way to lift your teams performance
Unless you live under a rock in downtown Nowheresville, you are part of a team. You can have an enormous impact on your team’s results by changing just a few small things that you do every day. You could influence others and improve the performance of your team today if you wanted to by just changing one simple thing.
From my own experience with my family, my sporting career and from running NRG Solutions for 10 years I have learnt that spending too much time trying to change and influence other members of your team can be a huge mistake. It rarely works.
The one thing that you can do today that will have the biggest impact on your team, almost immediately is to change your own approach. That’s the key to improving your team’s performance. You don’t even have to be the leader of the team. If you belong to a team and you change your approach for the better, the team will start to benefit immediately.
What can you change?
You can change plenty of things. However, you are busy and so am I so let’s focus on the 3 things that will give you the biggest impact on your team in the shortest time. If you choose to work on changing these three things as soon as possible you will see an immediate improvement in how your team performs.
1. Relationships – For a team to become more successful the relationships across the team must improve. Relationships must continue to develop. They can’t just, like the Eiffel tower, sit still, going nowhere. You need to continue to adapt your approach to others and your communication style with them. Find things that you have in common with others and build on this. People tend to like people who are like them. Shared experiences, more listening and less talking from you is often a good starting point to improving a relationship. Ignoring others rarely works. (Trust me, I’ve tried it) Focus on others needs and deliver accordingly and within reason. Spend a bit more time with them. I have found that shared experiences and common ground are the glue in successful relationships.
2. Feedback – Are you an expert at catching people doing things right? Positive feedback in most instances is usually more effective than negative feedback. Do you have a black belt in positive feedback? Alternatively do you have a black eye after providing one too many pieces of negative feedback? Are you receptive and open to receiving feedback as well as providing it? I provided some feedback to the owner of the Melbourne restaurant I dined in tonight. I started with a positive. “The chicken skewers were terrific. Please let the chef know.” I then suggested to him that he might want to include some salad or garnish with them, to dress up the plate and improve the presentation. He couldn’t have been less interested in my feedback. I’m still waiting to meet a person who has left their spouse because of too much positive feedback. “I had to leave Tony. There were just too many compliments about my personality, my attitude and my figure. I was sick of it!”
Providing timely and useful feedback is an art form. When you witness it live it looks so effortless. What you haven’t witnessed is the amount of hard work and practice that makes it look it so seamless.
3. Leveraging your time. If you delegated more of your work you could spend more time coaching, guiding, having lunch and inspiring others. The best leaders and team players know the importance of becoming great coaches. We all have the same amount of time each day. Increase the amount of time that you spend on the other people in your team hence spending less on your own agenda. You then start to create more time. This is critical for building the performance of a team.
In summary. You can strengthen your team today through improving relationships with other people; providing more positive feedback and leveraging your time.
Every successful leader knows that to build a stronger team the place to start is looking at what you can change or modify yourself. It all starts with you.