Friday, September 24, 2010

Team Culture

Some times the behaviors and words that you use as the manager/boss can be mirrored and magnified by those who report to you.  Recognising these behaviors and managing them can lead to positive benefits if dealt with well or negatively if you allow the behaviors to continue.  It pays to be careful with your words and watch what you say both in public and in private.

Here are some areas I recommend you watch out for and reflect on within your team-
  • What others say.  What are team members saying?  Are they being constructive or destructive?  If you don't like what they are saying is it possible they are copying you?
  • What others do.  Reflect on your team members behaviors.  How do they cope with stress?
  • How others react.  If a particular situation didn't work for a team member - what happened next?  Did they go off and sulk?  Did they kick the rubbish tin?  Or do they give people the silent treatment?
Each of these types of behavior and reaction if left unchecked can create animosity amongst people and can possibly lead to a destructive working environment.  So how do you try and fix these things?
  1. Confront negative behaviors.  If someone is annoyed or angry as a once off, the best strategy may be to let it go.  If the person has an ongoing issue with their behavior then you, as a manager, need to confront that person and explain to them the effects that their behavior is having on the rest of the team.
  2. Coach people to change.  Put on your 'Dr Phil' hat and coach the person towards positive behaviors and methods for reaction.  This is a less confrontational method for getting people to change.  Coaching them requires that you - name the behavior, assess what causes it and develop methods for dealing with it in a more positive and constructive way in the future.
  3. Model the behaviors you expect to see in others.  You are the role model and the leader.  Behave like one.  If you lead others will follow.
"A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not.

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