The cost of a well-functioning team is high. It requires transparency, a commitment to other’s success (versus having a focus solely on our own success), and the kind of vulnerability that leads to risk-taking, which, for sure, ensures mistakes will be made. Without these qualities, our teams will be mediocre at best-with them, we will develop lasting relationships that will extend deep into our future. I hope you like this week’s principle.
Harmony. It’s inspiring to see a team of people working together in harmony-those laboring for an outcome that is bigger than each of their parts, where alignment is real and relationships are strong. It’s this bigger-than-life image that draws people into companies, only to have their dreams shattered by the reality of corporate politics and the bad behavior of others. The question is: what would it take to build a team that has genuine harmony? It starts when we make a commitment to say the hard things in a soft way-to deal with the “who” of our teammates, versus the “what;” that is, speaking to other’s motivations, creating clarity, versus the cheap and easy approach of dealing with actions alone. Maintaining harmony is an active process, where we commit to being transparent, employing the principle of “finding solutions to problems versus identifying culprits,” recognizing that people don’t intentionally make mistakes. And, when mistakes are made, teams with harmony unpack the processes leading to the failure and learn, learn, learn from the experience. United we stand, divided we fall.
Coaching questions: Has your team achieved harmony? What are the missing ingredients? Write your answers in your journal.
Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.