team commitment

Decide. Commit. Succeed.

Are your team members committed to the goals of the organization?  Most teams fail not because of a lack of desire, but a lack of commitment to their goals.  A team that fails to commit...
• Creates ambiguity among team members about direction and priorities
• Watches windows of opportunity close due to excessive analysis and unnecessary delay
• Breeds lack of confidence and fear of failure
• Revisits discussions and decisions again and again
• Encourages second-guessing among team members
 
How do you know if you have a lack of commitment on your team?  Decision are rushed.  There are concerns about timing and priorities being expressed.  There is a lack of confusion about how a decision was made and how or if to proceed.

Teams that commit to decisions and standards do so because they know how to embrace two separate but related concepts: buy-in and clarity.

Buy-in is the achievement of honest emotional support for a decision. Too often, consensus is not real. False consensus arises when, instead of discussing the conflict, team members just nod their agreement and move on. When team members are unwilling to weigh in and share their opinions, there is a high likelihood that they’re not going to commit to whatever decision is made.  Commitment is about a group of individuals buying in to a decision precisely when they don’t naturally agree.
 
In other words, it’s the ability to defy a lack of consensus. When people know that their colleagues have no reservations about disagreeing with one another and that every available opinion and perspective has been unapologetically aired, they will have the confidence to embrace a decision. This is not nasty name calling or throwing of insults.  This is spirited ideological debate regarding direction and ideas.  Team trust is essential for this process.
 
Good leaders drive commitment among the team by first extracting every possible idea, opinion, and perspective. Then, comfortable that nothing has been left off the table, they have the courage and wisdom to step up and make a decision, one that is sure to run counter to at least one of the team members, and usually more.
 
The fact is, however, that most people don’t really need to have their ideas adopted (a.k.a. “get their way”) in order to buy in to a decision. They just want to have their ideas heard, understood, considered, and explained within the context of the ultimate decision.  Setting agendas ahead of time to allow people time to think and process will help to ensure you hear from each person around the table.  Also allowing some processing time after the meeting before a final decision is made can be fruitful.
 
Clarity requires that teams avoid assumptions and ambiguity and that they end discussions with a clear understanding about their final decisions.
When it comes to commitment, the most critical ground rules that team members must agree to relate to timeliness at meetings, responsiveness in communication, and general interpersonal behavior.
 
They must also commit to other principles such as purpose, values, mission, strategy, and goals. At any given time, all the members of a team must also know what the team’s top priority is and how each of them contributes to moving it forward.
 
Increasing the commitment of individuals can have a significant impact on goal achievement in your business this year.  If you need help in this area, please drop me a line.