You have all heard these sayings over the years:
“Bite your tongue!”
“Silence is Golden.”
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
And for most of us, whether it is dealing with a family member or a complaining customer, these mottos work. But in a corporate team building environment, this type of silence can be extremely counterproductive.
Because when you have something to say and you feel you cannot say it due to peer pressure to get along, it builds up resentment and causes you to either explode over a series of events (passive aggressive) or drives you into the arms of another company. The key to find ways to say what you need to without fear of being judged and in a tone that can be accepted by the person receiving the message.
Why You Need to do Team Troubleshooting
You know your team is in trouble when…
…everyone is in agreement with the leader, all the time.
When meetings are super short or there are only one or two people talking in a group of 10-15 individuals, you know you need team troubleshooting. Part of leadership team development is the ability to encourage people to speak up. When dissention occurs, different view points are brought forward, making ideas and solutions come to life.
…there is high turnover in your department.
I worked for a company where there was 85% turnover within the organization over six years. The reason? The leader of the team was a “know it all” who ran meetings according to his agenda. Even when he didn’t have a clue about a team member’s expertise, he would chime in on client calls to let them know how smart he was. The problem? He never listened and often cut people off during mid-sentence. Most of us bit our tongue and slowly found other employment opportunities.
…judgement is passed on every comment.
So you are uncomfortable speaking up, but when you feel you must, judgement is passed and it becomes personal. The team cannot hear what you shared, because they are too focused on judging you. Team troubleshooting needs to begin with listening fully with no interruption. This is hard in a large group, but if practiced over time, people will feel they are valued.
…there is not a mix of positive and negative feedback.
Some teams are on one end of the spectrum or the other. They avoid negative feedback because they want everyone to be happy all the time. Or they only call you when there is a problem; never saying anything positive along the way.
…there is a lot of triangulation and gossiping going on.
Instead of confronting the person about the item or behavior you don’t agree with, you do one of the following things: 1) you ask someone to intervene on your behalf or 2) you spend half your work week gossiping about your team.
All of the items above, can lead to destruction team behavior and need to be stopped immediately!
Call Fun Team Building to Help with Your Team Troubleshooting Efforts
Great organizations thrive on collaborative conversations and accountability. If your team is not talking, Larry Lipman from Fun Team Building can help reduce office drama and improve employee morale. Give Larry a call at 770-333-3303 to learn more about ways he can help you!