Is your leadership the glue?
Thriving teams are made up of different people with different experiences, skill sets and ways of working – these differences are what make many teams so successful, but these differences can also cause disconnects in communication and, without a strong leader to bring everyone together, these differences can be what makes a team fall apart.
Why is it important for teams to be united?
While everyone brings different skills to the table, teams – by very nature – are usually working towards a common goal. While the goal may be common, the way to get to that goal, the communication styles and methods of operation might be completely different for each individual member.
Making all of these things gel together is essential to ensuring that the whole team reaches the goal, together.
Often, I am working with leaders and their teams as they deal with the challenges associated with staying united. I speak with lots of leaders who know they need to be the glue in their team – and they’re trying – but it’s not always easy. It can be easy to want to give up, but strong teams are more effective and deliver better organisation outcomes.
Where do teams come unstuck?
Even the strongest of teams will come to crossroads that either bind them together, closer than ever, or break them apart.
- Change – it’s not uncommon for teams to struggle to accept or lead change. Strong leaders need to lead change with conviction to unite their teams and bring them through the change, just as strong. Without this strong leadership glueing teams together, change can cause frustrations and fractures, leaving teams weaker than before.
- Shifting dynamics – bringing a new person into the team can unsettle the dynamics, no matter how wonderful the new team member is. Teams who are used to working together in one way can be frustrated by new input and the social dynamics of those close-knit teams can take a hit when a new member joins the fold.
- Hybrid working – a challenge that many of us have faced in recent years, remote working makes it harder for leaders to bring teams together. Of course, bringing teams together physically becomes nearly impossible, but without that face-to-face contact, it can be harder to get everyone on the same page.
- Loss of trust – when team members stop following through on what they said they would do, failing to deliver and becoming unpredictable, it can be hard to trust each other. This loss of trust and confidence can see teams coming unstuck.
These aren’t the only things that could interfere with a team’s unity but when these shake ups happen, it’s down to leaders to be doing everything they can to make sure teams stay together and are strengthened by the adversity, rather than weakened.
How can leaders bring their team together?
Bringing the team together, empowering them to do their best work, together, is one of the most important roles a leader has to play.
Re-focus your efforts – just because you’ve had success bringing your team together in the past doesn’t mean that the same tactics will work for the future. Take hybrid working for example: the strategies that work when you’re face-to-face don’t necessarily work remotely. So double down on your efforts, find what works and keep trying to unite your team.
Go back to basics – your team might have been together for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that the tried and true basics aren’t valuable. The strategies you used when you first brought your team together can still work, years down the road. Strip it back and see where you land when you keep it simple.
Acknowledge that different approaches are needed – the challenges your team is facing today are not the same as yesterday’s challenges, or tomorrow’s! Get to the heart of the problem and find a strategy that works for this specific situation. Just as each situation is unique, so is every team. There is no one-size-fits all solution, sometimes you just have to try a few strategies until something sticks.
Want to bring your team together more effectively? People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.