Category Archives: Collaborative Leadership

Six Secrets To A Culture of Connectivity

I’ve been working with several teams this past six months that are having a tough time coming together in a unified way. It’s not that team members are purposefully going in different directions but rather there is a missing strand of connectivity. There is also an absence of camaraderie and respect for different views.

We all see this disconnect at times in our jobs. Since our workplaces are filled with so many daily interactions with different people, there is the potential to overlook the importance of meaningful connections. We see this when we work alongside colleagues to create important deliverables. We feel it when we participate in meetings to make decisions for the best direction we should take. A lack of connectivity can take place when we coach others to reach their potential as well as when we are coached to grow our own careers. A disconnect can even emerge when we make presentations to explain new concepts and trends.

Why are we sometimes missing the mark in forming connections with team members?

 To create teams that can perform at their highest levels we need to build connected relationships. We need to see how much we depend on one another to get our jobs done well.

Here are six secrets to creating a culture of connectivity:

1. Commit to building relationships with every interaction.

Every time we connect with others it is a moment of truth. That means we need to cultivate deeper relationships when we work with others. Make sure we are clear in our communication and share complete information so everyone can work with the same data. If someone has a different opinion, listen respectfully. Validate input from team members. Help each person see their value in contributing.

2. Be a trustworthy team member.

To lead in a culture of connectivity there needs to be a high level of trust amongst team members.

  • Don’t talk negatively behind people’s backs
  • Own up to your mistakes
  • Never betray a confidence shared with you
  • Showcase the strengths of others by asking them for their expertise

3. Become curious about people on your team.

When we become interested in what makes our team members tick we begin to build a deeper connection with them. In a recent program team members shared some information about their childhood that helped others understand them better. Ask questions and people will open up about who they really are.

4. Don’t be afraid of conflict.

If we really want to create a culture of connectivity we need to welcome ways to deal with healthy conflict. Healthy conflict ultimately leads to greater solutions if it is handled well.

  • Listen strategically to understand completely during team meetings
  • Don’t interrupt until your team member is finished explaining their ideas
  • Ask questions to clarify points
  • Never bully a team member to compromise
  • Try to pull different opinions together to create a larger solution

5. Follow-through on what you say you will do.

To depend on one another, team members must be reliable. That means completing your piece of the deliverable with quality in a timely manner. It also means offering your suggestions to enhance the outcome of a project if your expertise is needed. Be there for your team members when they are counting on you.

6. Lead with compassion.

Allow your heart and mind to be in sync when decisions are made and actions are taken. With one team I worked with some of the members were feeling isolated so it was essential for the others to draw them in and reach out for their input. Having concern for one another is how we connect.

What are your secrets to creating a culture of connectivity?

 Please let me know if I can help you or your team build a culture of connectivity and trust.

Do Leaders Need To Be Strong Team Players?

In a recent leadership workshop comprised of senior leaders of a firm there was so much discussion about the challenges of their team. As with so many other companies, this organization put more focus on taking care of their external clients rather than taking care of its internal team. They thought that as long as the customers seemed happy there was no need to make any adjustments with the team’s direction. Yet it was obvious that these leaders were not functioning as a cohesive group and saw no need to be strong team players.

As the program continued it became more and more apparent that maybe understanding the dynamics of their internal team might… Continue reading | 6 Comments

Four Leadership Mindsets That Rock

Leading on a small team or leading on a big team, we are often faced with challenges that we didn’t see coming. All of sudden we recognize that the direction the team is moving is totally off course. In some of my workshops leaders even feel defeated or stuck in the middle of a road with no obvious cross streets to walk down. Then the words start to fly:

“I tried that approach before and it doesn’t work.”

 “That’s impossible!”

 “It’s not our responsibility. Ask the other team.”

“No one cares or values what I am doing. I am just a cog in a wheel.”

Just like glass balls that drop and shatter… Continue reading | 6 Comments

Five Clues That Your Team Needs A Leadership Rehab

I enjoy watching house makeovers on TV. They always start with a major structural disaster and analyze which remodeling strategies will turn the house into a beautiful home. To make that transformation there is usually a great deal of dreaming, planning, hard work and finally elation. It’s a process that not only takes time but also depends on the expertise and knowledge of the designers and builders.

In a similar way, our teams and organizations sometimes need a makeover. The culprit of the dysfunctional team or institution is often the leadership at all levels. Team members and leaders don’t always recognize the signs of a collapsing leadership strategy. When we are in the… Continue reading | 8 Comments

Five Game Plans To Crush A Leadership Crisis

You probably recognize this workplace scenario. The team you’re on is moving along at a clip, accomplishing great outcomes and meeting challenging deadlines. Each team member seems to be working hard and knows what is expected of them. Then one day you notice that projects, files, phone calls or emails are piling up. Co-workers are less inclined to help each other out and start to vent about their workload. Gossip about how certain individuals on the team are not pulling their fair share begins to circulate. The once smoothly run team is derailing with no one in charge to realign it. What’s happening to your previously high performing team?

A leadership crisis is setting in