Not many of us look forward to meetings. Whether you have them weekly, monthly, or quarterly, they are bound to be accompanied by groans and complaints. This is a problem. These negative responses towards team meetings may be because performance and contribution are down. Your meetings are lacking substance and people are no longer interested in what the team leader has to say. Is this because the team leader is no longer taking into account what the team has to offer?
It is often said that if everyone agrees than someone is not needed. This may be true, but the real issue may be that the team dynamics in the organization have been broken. There are many leadership missteps that may be killing and destroying teamwork and cause conflict avoidance. Here are a few examples of when a leader can destroy the team.
- Stopped being curious and really does not listen to people when issues are raised in meetings.
- Intimidating or threatening so subordinates have fear of reprisal so they do not want to speak up.
- History of judging people in the room (and voicing those judgments) when opinions differ from theirs or are not strong and thus people do not want to be vulnerable.
- Appears to only be self- interested.
- Tendency to interrupt other team members before their idea may be completed.
- Makes personal attacks when they are not getting their way.
There are times in our lives when we must revert back to that old childhood adage of “play nice with others”. These team meetings are essential to the core of your company. Meetings give us the opportunity to not only remain up to date on the progress of the business, but to view the progress of those responsible for it. Inhibiting ideas and squelching brain-storming will cause a fall in production from the employees and result in an eventual loss in profit. If everyone is not weighing in and openly debating and disagreeing on important ideas at your meetings, look for passive-aggressive behavior behind the scenes or back-channel attacks. What organizations find is that healthy conflict saves them a lot of time and leads to better decisions. The role of the leader is to practice restraint and to allow for conflict and resolution to occur naturally.
Howard Shore is a business growth expert who works with companies that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please contact Howard Shore at (305) 722-7213 or [email protected].