Leadership & Teamwork

Written by: Alan Rodway

This is a brief article to highlight extremely important aspects of behaviour that often prohibits the development of high level teamwork. Readers should truthfully consider if either of the negative behaviours outlined below are occurring in any teams within their organisation / business, and act to eradicate them if they are. It must also be truthfully considered whether the positive behavioural aspect below is at play from everyone.

In teams it’s nobody’s role to commentate nor judge. It’s everybody’s role to lead improvement.

There are three elements in this:

  1. Nobody is to commentate, meaning just describing what is happening.That’s destructive if it’s describing negative aspects and only serves to make things worse. It’s really tantamount to whingeing. If it’s positive commentary on what’s happening then it should be expressed directly to the people involved as recognition and encouragement, rather than just commentary.
  2. Nobody is to judge others’ behaviours or situations. Again, if the judgements are negative then that will make things worse. If the judgements are positive then they should also be expressed directly to the people involved as recognition and encouragement.

Note that in both of the above situations there is a fundamental difference between commentating and dealing directly with someone, to remedy a situation or encourage further effective behaviours.

  1. Everyone within every team must be expected to show leadership and improve situations they observe or perceive to need improvement. If it is allowable for anyone in a team to think that, for any reason, it’s acceptable not do this, then who is it up to? The fact is that high level teamwork will only occur if everyone steps into situations that need rectifying or improving … if everyone takes their turn. The normal excuses of not being senior enough, don’t know how, too scared, too new, or whatever, must be thrown out in favour of everyone playing a leadership role when it is required. People then develop as leaders faster and more broadly and teams become more effective.

So, if anyone, in any team, is ever just commentating or judging, rather than stepping into situations to improve them, high level teamwork will never occur. An ongoing process to get everyone to understand and buy into this notion is necessary, which will obviously require people to exhibit courage and skill to carry this out effectively … that’s a good thing! People and teams will grow.

The danger in such a brief, basic article as this is that it can be overlooked or not actioned. That would be a significant mistake and an oversight in growing performance.

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