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Team Building Requires A Vision Caster

Jan 18, 2008
Summary: An open approach to change is a disarming approach while a firm approach to change is almost assured to result in a defensive posture among your team members. How exactly do you do that?

If you are seeking to build a new team profile in an existing business, but are fighting the status quo it may be time for an object lesson.

We've all experienced those moments when existing employees will say something like, "We've never done it that way before."

As a team leader you've likely heard that reply often enough that your stress level is in constant conference with your brain seeking an injunction against lashing out at the first person who shows sign of dissent.

When, as a team leader, you see evidence that a new course of action is needed it can be easy to think that an entirely new team may be a good idea. One thing you need to remember, however, is that as we work into a routine we find comfort by knowing what we are supposed to do, why we are supposed to do it and be able to do it without thinking.

When you ask for change you upset the applecart, so to speak. The staff may not know what to do, why they are doing it and they have to think about what they are doing. For some it can feel like starting another job altogether.

Not everyone will accept the change and they have the right to find a new team if they choose to. However, there is something that can help you transition a staff to a new team building structure. You have to become the 'vision caster'. You've got to be the one that educates the team on where you want to go and why. You've got to work at motivating them to make the transition willingly. If you do it right your team may even move enthusiastically toward your new team-building model.

Too often team leaders can come to terms personally with the change and then simply inform their team that something new is in the offing. This approach can come across as unfeeling and dictatorial.

If you can provide open dialogue and strategic team meetings to outline the plan and the reason for the move it allows each team member to work at coming to terms with the change. If you can help the team member understand the change they are more likely to follow. When you simply demand a change it often results in a wall of steady and profound resistance.

An open approach to change is a disarming approach while a firm approach to change is almost assured to result in a defensive posture among your team members.

It can be a heavy responsibility to be a team leader, but if you treat your team with respect and value their contributions you may find most of them are willing to follow you anywhere - once they understand the game plan.
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