Which team role do you usually take during meetings?
Are you usually boxed into a corner, fulfilling a pre-determined role? Or do you assume a different voice at each meeting? And the voice you speak from depends on the nature of the meeting, the participants, and the desired outcomes.
Regardless of whether you meet virtually or in-person, even the best teams have members who always fit into “assigned” team roles. The actions these teams take next, regarding their unconscious tendency to play specific roles, impacts the outcome from each meeting.
Often, team members assume roles based on individual professional tendencies to be:
- Passive and Quiet
- Dependably domineering
- Always Agreeable
- Skeptical and Contrarian
- A Faithful Group-Thinker
You know “those” meetings characterized by continuously dependable drama, fireworks and disagreement. For starters, one or two individuals always must be “right.” Consequently each meeting becomes a turf war rather than a collaborative and innovative exchange. Often, the purpose of the entire meeting agenda is challenged, including the decision about what to order for lunch. As a result, nothing gets done. Always.
Also, there are teams so focused on historically gaining consensus, that members turn off and tune out until it’s time to agree. Even if they disagree. Or reach no decision at all. Because agreeing with the appointed leader is prioritized over exploring hybridized solutions. Consequently, this team persona leaves little opportunity for collaboration and innovation.
Then again, when difficult topics arise does the team instinctively rely on one specific member to move one millimeter beyond what is professionally comfortable? Yet, this skeptical team member typically is not the leader. They only speak when there is something mission-critical say. And these skeptical, critical thinkers use a minimum number of words to succinctly introduce their ideas to the table.
Moving forward into 2021, what team role do you intend to play?
My role as a skeptical critical thinker and facilitator for intentional innovation allows me to help individuals and teams grow their cross-functional leadership voices. Chances are, everyone seated around your business table has significant insights to contribute. However, these are not easy conversations to have, especially on teams and in cultures where specific roles are ingrained.
2021 offers you the opportunity to have productive and profitable cross-functional conversations between left- and right-brain thinkers. Knowledge and manual workers. Remote and on-site. By providing different pathways for ingrained behavior, response, insight and collaboration, you move beyond avoidance or group-think. Instead, everyone’s creativity blossoms together, as do their critical thinking skills and empathy.
What team role will you take in 2021? Tired of feeling boxed into a professional corner? Why remain an order-taker when you can evolve into an innovator? Take these next steps.
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
I specialize in professional innovation, cross-functional leadership and client retention. Together with professionals like you, I translate across communication and collaboration disconnects separating people and professional disciplines. My One Millimeter Mindset™ virtual and in-person speaking programs and workshops leverage Voice of the Customer design methodology and storytelling to move individuals, teams, departments and organizations one millimeter beyond yesterday’s tools and today’s comfortable professional habits and mindset. Why remain an order-taker when you can develop into an innovator and revenue-generator? Become more professionally visible, cross-functionally relevant and strategically valuable to your organization. One millimeter at a time. My playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact me here.
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