Recharge Your Team for The New Year

Is your team stuck or discouraged? Does it need some direction? If so, you are not alone.

Teams everywhere are demotivated and disoriented. The good news is that most team members are tired of being that way and ready for new direction.

What’s more, new direction can be had relatively easily if you are willing to invest a little effort. Perhaps you are just the leader to do so.

Here’s a four-step plan for resurrecting your team:

1. REBOOT. You can’t reboot a stuck team quite as easily as you can a computer, but the analogy works. What happens when you reboot a computer? You flush the confusing old instructions from the CPU and start with fresh ones.

You can do the same thing with your team.

The key is to separate the past from the present by claiming that now is an “entirely new moment in time.” And, by the way, it is. Collect your team together to say goodbye to the good ol’ days before 2013 and say hello to a whole new point in time with its own opportunities. Mourn the loss together, then commit to chart a new course.

2. REFRAME. Chaos always produces opportunity, but such opportunity is completely missed by those living in the past. So be the first to open your eyes to this new reality and invite your team to see it too.

Work together to recognize and identify the best opportunities in this new uncharted world and grab the lead. Do this together with your team to take advantage of shared perspectives and get everyone focused on the same new outcome.

3. REFOCUS. Help each member of the team grasp the big picture and, just as importantly, help each other focus on the new personal opportunities and rewards one can derive by contributing to the team’s new mission.

How? As you and your teammates explore opportunities, ask each other, “What’s in it for you to pursue this with the team?” Help each other to discover and clarify new individual opportunities within the new team direction. Affirm and validate each other’s WIIFM’s (what’s in it for me?), and note what each is so you can be sure to support others in pursuing their wins.

4. RECOMMIT. New beginnings are a great time to bury hatchets, drop bad habits, and reinforce shared values. Invite team members to identify the most important “ground rules” for performing together and supporting one another in this new world.

Do this by asking each member to make a list of the best and worst team characteristics they have experienced. Then ask yourselves what operating agreements would support you in modeling the best teams and avoiding the characteristics of the worst.

Get Started With This Week’s 5-Minute Leadership Gift Practice Tip

Assess all of the teams on which you serve and ask yourself if each is living in the present or the recent past.

If your team isn’t clearly in the present, follow the four-step process above to recharge it.

Leaders and coaches: Get Christopher’s best team building and leadership strategies collected over two-plus decades of solving teamwork problems for smart people. Attend the acclaimed Creating Results-Based Teams workshop, or get this FREE Special Report while it lasts: The Five Flawless Steps to Building a Strong Executive Leadership Team.

Christopher Avery, PhD, is a recognized authority on how individual and shared responsibility works in the mind and an advisor to leaders worldwide.

Posted in Leadership, Teamwork on 12/31/2012 10:00 am
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