Team Building: A 3D Management Approach
"Do unto others as you would like to be treated."
That's a fantastic bible precept, but it's a questionable management theory. It assumes that everyone is the same and that everyone will respond to the same treatment—being treated how you want to be treated.
Many of your people, though, are not like you. Furthermore, they have nothing in common. You must also assist them in relating to one another by educating them to respect the other's style, strengths, and motivation.
To get the best out of your executive team, you must orchestrate them, encouraging them to give their all while also assisting them in blending their individual skills for group peak performance. To accomplish this, you must examine their various functioning and behavioral styles. LIFO® does not limit us to ‘function’ through Task performance but, it encourages us to behave as needed based on the roles we are tasked to perform. So it is not limiting. It gives us the elbow room to choose the behavior that we need in accordance with the situation or condition we are in at that particular moment. Each one of us is a mixture of the four Life Orientation Patterns.
Mix and Match
Each style has a certain role to play within every operating unit, with its own distinct approach to doing tasks. You must determine each employee's style preference and pervasive style and tailor your supervision of them accordingly. Then, you may improve teamwork by imbibing the various approaches to subordinates and demonstrating how each offers a unique and valuable contribution.
Your subordinates learn to value the difference of each other and capitalize on them by blending and meshing their styles to achieve maximum overall performance under your direction. However, because people embellish their style, such differences are frequently overlooked. They overdo a good thing, pushing a valid style past a point when their fundamental qualities become flaws.
As a result:
- An employee whose Controlling-Taking style is marked by initiative and confidence may become imprudent and headstrong.
- A meticulous, methodical, and analytical individual with a Conserving-Holding style becomes plodding, nitpicking, and paralyzed by analysis.
- A person with a Supporting-Giving style might push trust to the point of gullibility and perfection to the point of impracticality.
- And with the Adapting-Dealing approach, the person might transform tactfulness into over-agreeableness and exaggerate flexibility into inconsistency.
People frequently find themselves doing too much of the good thing just because they are inclined to react based on their comfort zone. Isn't that what made them so successful? So, even if the situation doesn't call for it, why not use it more? This excess appears superfluous which makes the person unaware that the behavior exuded is negatively impacting other people.
Excess might also be caused by stress in the workplace. When goals are unclear, for example, stress can arise. Assume the goal is to increase earnings, but no one ever specifies by how much or when. Employees stretch their most preferred style until it becomes unproductive due to the confusion. Alternatively, perhaps the deadlines are unrealistic for the staff and cannot be met.
Another issue is that power and accountability lines are unclear. If that's the case, no one knows what they're supposed to be doing or for whom. Are there any expectations that are conflicting? While a division manager may encourage his employees to be more aggressive in their marketing efforts, the finance officer wants them to keep costs in check.
Another factor is overload. It happens when there is too much work and responsibility for too few people. It can also happen when an employee or a group of employees is in over their heads due to inexperience. Examine the work environment and its rules and regulations to understand how they affect employees and make necessary and suitable improvements.
Selecting the Right Approach
After that, examine each employee’s behavioral style, and influence them properly. However, this does not imply that you must modify your primary management style. You are not required to become a devoted father figure. You have to discover each person's unique reason and meaning, honor it and relate to it.
Putting Everything Together
After you've assessed the workplace for stressors and created your own, tailored instructions for motivating each employee, you should look for a means to strengthen the employees' inter-relationship. Discuss the four style orientations individually and then in groups about how they interact.
Assist each person in analyzing their own personal style. The majority of people will recognize themselves in at least one of the patterns. Then, particularly during group meetings, demonstrate how the approaches interact and complement one another to generate teamwork.
It's important to emphasize that there are no good or bad styles. The emotional side of misconceptions among your employees is defused once this is realized.
Team building is an essential aspect of any business since it pulls individuals together via mutual support and cooperation. It takes dynamic combination of personal, managerial, cultural, and organizational work to reap tremendous benefits. Yet, it's worth it.
1Nations Business, 1975, Getting Your Team In Tune
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