Bob, a top leader in his company came to me to figure out why his team was not working together. He told me that no one gave him input and he was wondering if trust was an issue. We worked together for 3 months to work on his communication skills. This article describes 3 strategies that Bob used to improve his communication skills which supported his team to begin working together.
Working Together Strategy #1: Define what trust means to the team
The American Heritage Dictionary defines trust as – “the firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.” No wonder why there’s a challenge with people working together. It’s hard enough to rely on only one of these characteristics.
Bob asked his team the following questions:
- What does trust mean to you?
- How can I gain your trust as your leader?
This exercise was eye opening to everyone because each person required distinctive characteristics to gain his or her trust. Bob called me right after he conducted this exercise and expressed how people were starting to speak more openly with each other.
Working Together Strategy #2: Understand who is on your team
My clients have seen great results after we conduct a training using different assessments. It’s important to identify the different behavioral styles because we are all wired differently. Bob asked me to give each team member the DISC assessment which uncovers 4 behavioral styles.
- Directors may want authority, challenges, freedom, logical approach and difficult assignments.
- Interactors may want social recognition, people to talk to, freedom from details, and a chance to motivate.
- Steadys may need status quo, time to adjust, appreciation, and work patterns.
- Carefuls may need security, exact job descriptions, and attention to detail.
We divided the group to find people who shared the same behavioral style to discover how they are the same. We then divided the group with the assorted styles to discover how they could improve their communication with each other. There was a lot of laughter and deep conversation about the distinctive styles. They figured out in a positive way why certain groups worked well together and why others drove each other crazy.
Working Together Strategy #3: Discuss how the team can use this information to build trust
Understanding how each person defined trust and being aware of the 4 behavioral styles brought the team closer. Bob took advantage of this positive environment to go deeper with his team.
He asked them to brainstorm the following ideas:
- What the team needed from each other to become more productive
- What they needed from the executive team
- How meetings could be improved to improve time management
The ideas were discussed with the executive team and meaningful change happened. I realize that some of you may not trust your executive team. An executive coach would have to work with top leaders to discuss communication issues and transparency. Leaders need to know how they can improve to help employees start working together. Communication is a 2-way street!
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Send me an email with your questions or comments on how to improve your team so they can start working together.
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This is Joyce Weiss, Communications Strategist and Coach
Learn how Joyce Weiss can leverage her 30+ years of communication and leadership consulting and coaching experience to help your organization address team building strategies here.
Until next time, Remember…“You Get What You Tolerate!”
P.S. Feel free to call me at 800.713.1926 or send me an email to find out how the DISC assessment can help you or your team improve communication and career growth.