First Published August 21, 2018.
Teamwork starts with trust and ends when no one listens.
I came across this quote a few days ago and it made me think hard if this was true or not. Teamwork is essential in any team and I agree that trust is the foundation that brings teamwork together.
Any industry thrives on teamwork and it's absolutely critical that teamwork is present.
But what happens when your team just doesn't listen?
There is no quick answer to this question.
But what I can say is that if they if they do not listen, then their engagement towards you is low and it needs to get fixed! And ASAP!
I've outlined a few things that will help you in answering how you can get them back to being engaged.
1. Think introspectively and analyze your behavior honestly
I have witnessed leaders where the the reflex action is to blame the team for its behavior.
This is the wrong approach.
When the team doesn't listen, there is a huge chance that the supervisor has something to do with it.
So, be truthful and really analyze how you've been acting towards the team.
Have you made repeated comments that were not taken well?
Have you genuinely tried to bridge to the team ?
How have you been treating the team lately?
How is their morale? Did you have something to do with the low morale?
These are only a few of the questions that you can start with.
There are lots more and be ready to toughen up because these are very difficult questions to answer but if answered truthfully, can be liberating.
The goal is to understand your behavior to understand your team's behavior.
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2. Swallow your pride and accept it
Once you've identified the actions that caused your team to be less engaged, this is the next brutal step.
Accepting that you are the cause of your team's bad behavior is tough. But no matter what the justification is for your actions, your team needs you to turn things around.
This is where you really need to step up.
Swallowing your pride to admit you made a mistake is not a sign of weakness. In fact, this is a good thing.
Not only for your own peace of mind but for your team. Once your team sees that you are making efforts to improve the situation, they will start to open up and start to mend ties.
Be genuine in accepting your mistakes and truly be okay with the fact that you made a mistake.
Accept that even if you're a leader, you also make mistakes.
Check out my 50 Team Engagement Activities Guide that will Transform your Team Today!
3. Talk to your team
This is not a team huddle. This is a meeting where you will address the issue head on. This step is critical and really needs to happen.
The purpose is to get everyone a look aligned and finally move forward. Below are some of the suggestions on how you should handle it:
4. Do what you said you will do
Having the meeting with your team is a critical step in rehabilitating your team.
Nothing will set you back fast but the behavior you show your team AFTER the meeting especially if you do not do what you say you would do.
Your team will closely watch you.
And this is fine and expected.
Whatever you have committed in that meeting will need to happen. Every. Single. Thing.
This shows your team that you are serious in making steps to improve the relationships and that you are following through to make this happen.
Fostering teamwork within your team is a lot of work and it's an even long list of actions when your team is not engaged.
If you want to build an engagement program that will help you manage your team's morale and motivation, check this out.
About Daisy Casio
Daisy Casio is a Passionate Operations Leader with over 19 years of work experience in various leadership roles. She has run diverse teams in multiple locations and has built teams from the ground up. She is the Founder of ChampLeaders Blog dedicated to transforming leaders to Champions. She writes about leadership, management, productivity, career tips, team engagement and many more.