Over the past few months, we’ve looked at how coaching can help you to be the best leader you can be.
We’ve focussed on key topics such as confidence building, stress and wellbeing, self-discovery, planning and accountability.
In short, we’ve done a lot of looking inwards at what makes YOU tick. Over the next few articles, we’re going to switch it up and take a look at the people you work with.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Where would you be without your team?
If your answer to that question isn’t “completely screwed”, then this article is probably for you.
Challenges can surface in the team you lead or between your peers and both can make life miserable and detrimentally affect your performance and mental health.
If we’re coaching a client with team issues, we look at the challenges they are facing, the relationships involved and the overall performance of the group.
We tease out any issues and support the client whilst they come first fully to understand and then address the situation.
“If you are unable to understand the cause of a problem it is impossible to solve it.”
As coaches, we work with CEO’s, C-Suite leaders, directors, MD’s and business owners. Everybody’s situation is different, yet regardless of seniority, having good peer and subordinate relationships is important.
If you’re a business owner, you probably thought running your own company would provide you with MORE freedom than having a salaried job. The truth is, without a dependable team in place, it’s the business that actually runs you.
If you can’t go on a week's holiday, for example, without it being interrupted by the office, there’s something wrong.
If you’re a leader in corporate land, a poorly performing team will affect how your time is spent. If you’re continually fighting fires, recruiting and picking up the slack, where do you find the time to work on long-term planning and improving team performance?
Difficult relationships between senior peers can cause power struggles and confrontation – making it difficult to make any plans at all. Poor planning leads to delays in creating and launching initiatives, which ultimately affects performance. A toxic relationship at the top almost always bleeds deeper into the organisation, so it’s important that a dysfunctional senior relationship is addressed sooner, rather than later.
In all of these scenarios, one thing is certain: nothing good will come of burying your head in the sand.
The Tale Two Armies
Let me tell you a story…
In ancient Hindu mythology, a war was waged between two opposing heavenly armies: the Devas (The Gods) and the Asuras (The Demons). Both sides were fighting for dominion over the three worlds: Heaven (Svarga), Earth (Bhumi) and the Nether World (Patala).
The armies were equally matched in numbers and power, which meant the battle continued for centuries.
With no end in sight, the armies grew exhausted and eventually, they each prayed to the great creator Lord Brahma: “Lord Brahma,” they said. “Please end this terrible war. Please tell us which army is the strongest and the best.”
Lord Brahma, heard their prayers and saw how tired they were. He invited them all to a huge feast, so they could replenish themselves whilst he pondered their request.
As the armies sat down at a table, ready to enjoy the lavish spread, Lord Brahma placed a caveat upon his offer of food: “You may enjoy this feast before you, but to eat it, you must do so with straight arms.”
The armies soon realised that with their arms out straight, nobody could get the food into their own mouths!
As the Asuras struggled, the Devas noticed that even though they couldn’t feed themselves, they could feed each other.
The Devas quickly paired off and fed each other until everyone in their army was full. The Asuras, however didn’t notice what the Devas were doing and they continued to struggle and argue between themselves.
At the end of the feast, the Asuras were still tired and hungry, but the Devas felt completely rested and replenished. “I’ll tell you now which army is the best and the strongest,” Lord Brahma decreed. “The Devas, for they are united. They looked after each other as a team, instead of just thinking about themselves. Their strength is in their togetherness and they have won the war!”
Now, I realise it doesn’t take a genius to work out the moral of that story, yet despite this teaching being ancient and everybody being aware that unity makes a team stronger, we still struggle with it in practice.
Are your team united, or a group of individuals?
What makes a great team?
You know you have a great team when both morale and productivity are high. When everyone supports each other to grow, learn and fulfil their career potential.
The best teams are diverse; not just in terms of race and gender, but also in skill set, experience and potential. They embrace each other's uniqueness and welcome new members with open arms.
Great teams are fun to be part of, there are no management favourites and everyone is focused on a common vision and direction for the future.
Does this sound like your team?
If you’re not quite there yet, don’t despair; with the right tools and support, your ‘dream team’ is absolutely achievable. (Team) Working through your problems.
Over the coming weeks, we will be looking into reasons why the people who work for you may not be performing as you wish and ways in which you can turn things around to achieve the ‘team of your dreams’.
We’ll also be focussing on teams that you are part of and how you should approach a challenge at peer level.
First up, is an article on team conflict, the common triggers and possible solutions.
If anything in this article has resonated with you, why not get in touch and sign up for a free discovery session?