MISCONCEPTION NUMBER ONE: Avoid confrontation because it will make things worse.
People in teams avoid raising breakdowns, issues and matters of concern they have with their team members, and also with the team itself, as they fear that raising them will make matters worse. They live in the delusion that sweeping issues under the carpet makes them disappear and removes any significant impact on relationships and team dynamics. This is the old ‘ostrich with its head in the sand’ syndrome.
Breakdowns and issues left unresolved, not raised and worked through so that people are left without any residual ‘baggage’, is the most common cause of dysfunctional and low performing teams. Even if only two people in the team have unresolved issues with one another, the team dynamics are impacted. Without resolution, the way in which the team works together will be shaped by avoiding, compromising or accommodating the impact of the issues between the two unresolved members.
Creating a commitment within teams to confront these breakdowns, to being willing to be vulnerable and learn how to raise matters in a way that resolves the breakdown for all parties and turn them into positive and productive outcomes is a critical competency for high performance. Without this competency, you will not reach your peak performance and you will not build a high performing team.
When a team has developed the competency to tackle the tough conversations and to keep going until resolution is achieved, they become highly creative and virtually unstoppable. A high performing team welcomes breakdowns, and in fact searches them out as the opportunity to reach even higher levels of performance.
It is the conversations we most want to avoid having, because they are difficult, that are the ones most likely to produce the results we want. In Misconception Two we’ll address different ways of viewing the challenges in front of you to maximise the opportunity they offer.