SMB team indecision can mire your small to mid-size business (SMB) in analysis paralysis. Take your SMB business team pulse. What are the dynamics of the majority of team meetings?
There are 3 Team Indecision Characteristics which create indecision in even the most highly functioning small to midsize business teams. Are any – or all – of these scenarios present when your SMB team meets?
- One personality dominates everyone else’s perspectives.
- Alternatively, one personality (who happens to be everyone’s boss) is deferred to because of job title. Unfortunately the boss is decision-averse.
- Team members aren’t confident in their own perspectives. They are hesitant to stand up to the prevailing opinion (the way we’ve always done things) or the dominating opinion or the decision-averse leader.
If these three characteristics describe the dynamics of your own SMB team, chances are your company is plagued by SMB team indecision. Indecision is your norm. Indecision is why your small to medium size business is stuck in Yesterday.
Isn’t it time to move your team from SMB team indecision towards what it takes to be productive and profitable tomorrow and in the future?
Catalyze your team out of being mired in the mud of indecision. Incorporate these 4 SMB Team Indecision Busters into your meetings. Stop spinning your wheels. Start moving along productively and profitably.
- Set your meeting agenda together, at the beginning of each meeting. This conversation is the most important dialogue your SMB team will have. Depending on where everyone sits around our business table, team members “see” the same issues differently. These differences in perspective are the keys to innovation. Learn how to leverage them.
- Establish a rule that everyone’s opinion counts. Often, key individuals with the greatest insight on customer behavior are marginalized by your team. Perhaps it’s a matter of educational differences. Perhaps these individuals aren’t a member of the founding family. Educational or familial pedigree are no substitutes for having the ability to understand your customers. Listen to each other. Learn from each other.
- Make it OK to not know. Meetings should be forums for open discussion. Conduct research. Find information that provides clarity so a decision can be made. The best “don’t know” question I know is “What data are we missing that lend context and clarity to the decisions our team needs to make today?”
- Get buy-in if you can’t get consensus. Collectively discuss your insights, information, reservations and fears relating to the decision you need to reach together. Steps 1- 3 honor the context of everyone’s opinion on your team. Most often, individuals who feel marginalized will be the most hesitant to contribute their opinion until they are appreciated and encouraged to do so. Most often, individuals who dominate become great listeners once the Rules of the Table put a muzzle on their mouths. Naysayers, whose team position usually is “I told you it wouldn’t work,” aren’t allowed to cast doubt on a decision unless they can provide at least one or two alternative solutions.
SMB team indecision becomes a thing of the past when you focus on collaboration instead of domination, indifference or marginalization. You can’t move your business forward until you wrestle with what’s holding you back. Start with your team dynamics. Liberate yourself from indecision and status quo mindset.
Babette N. Ten Haken builds innovative, productive and profitable teams focused on excellence in the execution of strategy. Her Playbook on collaboration hacks, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.