How’s it going? Are you bringing out the cross functional best in your teams? Or do specific team members continuously frustrate and disappoint you?
Now, walk around the (virtual) team table. Then, take a different seat at your team’s table. Perhaps your team members may feel the same way about your performance: frustrated and disappointed?
I offer these 3 suggestions for bringing out the cross functional best in your teams, continuously.
Suggestion 1 : Take continuous breaks during meetings. After all, collaboration is hard work and lots of rewarding fun!
Instead of assuming everyone is as enthusiastic and engaged as you are, ask them. But first, take more short breaks. Because a great way to gain breakthroughs in ideation is to take a mental or physical break away. Often the clarity and insights you seek zing into your head. It’s amazing how your brain reorganizes and rewires itself. Especially when you take a break from staring at the screen, each other, and/or the whiteboards in the room.
Suggestion 2: After the break, resume by taking your team’s pulse.
By asking how it’s going, you slowly ease their brains back into thinking critically and creatively: together. And the first order of business becomes a self-assessment of how they are doing. Because when teams members are not equally committed, conversant, or confident about problem solving, everyone ends up short-changing each other. Often unconsciously. Creating a safe place to discuss what team members struggle with (even if it is each other) unclogs the pace, cadence, quality, and creativity of cross functional team output and outcomes.
Suggestion 3 – To bring out the best in your teams, trade places.
It just could be that taking a different role moves everyone one millimeter forward beyond current team habits and mindset. Together.
I consulted with one small business team whose CEO insisted on being part of every meeting. Which I initially thought was great, inclusive, cross-functional and creative. Until I observed that every other team member hesitated to report their results. Instead, each time I asked a question, they all turned to the CEO and waited for him to answer: for them. Talk about group think, among other things. That is, until I appointed a different team member to play the role of “Interim CEO”. And the real CEO had to switch roles with that team member. The Interim CEO immediately acknowledged he did not have all the right answers, on his own. He needed the rest of the team to move everyone forward!! Aha… 😉
What examples would you add to this blog post? Are you ready to take the next steps towards bringing out the best in your teams? Then let’s take these next steps together.
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.
Babette Ten Haken | Change Catalyst | Purpose-Driven Professional Innovation | Cross-Functional Team Leadership | Trust-Based Client Retention | In Person & Virtual Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™ Speaking & Consulting, catalyzes trust-based, purpose-driven, cross-functional leadership. She leverages Voice of the Customer and storytelling to translate across communication and collaboration disconnects impacting successful business outcomes across people and professional disciplines. Babette is a cross-functional business-oriented STEM professional, qualitative Voice of the Customer facilitator, and Six Sigma Green Belt (Quality). She is a member of the ASQ, SHRM, PMI, the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.