Is your team united on a common purpose?
As the manager of a team, when everyone is pulling in the same direction, your life is wonderful. So how do you set the direction and then make sure everyone is on board? In a team context, here is a method of running team building workshops that will help with this very situation.
There is a key that unlocks this process: realising that in order to manage a team, you don’t need to tell them what to do all the time. What is key is to spend some time working out how you would like things to be different, and here is the way in which this can deliver good outcomes.
We all set goals, and when managing a team, this is an essential part of the manager’s armoury. You know how you would achieve this goal, and the actions you would take. Imparting this as a set of instructions may work for some, however all humans are individuals so this won’t be as effective as you letting people do things their own way. But that’s a recipe for chaos, right?
In a team building workshop, take some time to imagine what it would be like if you had actually achieved your goal already. What would you all notice was different? Take time to consider different perspectives. What would we notice collectively? What would we notice individually? What would our other stakeholders – e.g. clients, suppliers, partners – notice was different if we had achieved the goal? If you explore these thoroughly, look for those that are observable and measurable. These can be translated into specific, observable, measurable differences that every member of the team can work towards.
Now, to move this on, instead of asking the team how they would deliver the goal, ask them instead how they would deliver these differences? This turns a meeting about goal setting into a team building workshop where team members are free to propose their own way forward. You can sense check these ideas against the differences sought, and of course because these are specific, observable and measurable, you can set up monitoring and evaluation to ensure that your team members are on the right path. Regular reviews of progress will build confidence, and will allow you to intervene helpfully at an early stage of the team member is not progressing towards the differences sought.
This can be hard to deliver as the manager in the team, so perhaps a facilitator with expertise could help. A good facilitator will give you space to contribute to the discussion while they make sure everyone contributes, and the outcomes are collective.
So, seek the observable, measurable differences, and allow your team to be creative in how they deliver them. With regular reviews, you will achieve your goals and everyone will be on board and pulling in the same direction from the off!