Going Rogue – Time to Rebuild or Breakup

I am sure many of you remember when the newswire was buzzing with the lone-wolf behaviour of one of the (Canadian) Tenors during the signing of Canada’s national anthem at a All-Star baseball game in San Diego in July.  During the anthem, Tenor Remigio Pereira substituted words to make a political statement.  This change was made without prior knowledge of his fellow quartet members.  The backlash has been huge and now the future of the Tenors is in question.

In this instance, one member of the group took it upon himself to act on his own, whttp://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-solution-vs-problem-solving-business-consulting-compass-arrow-pointing-to-word-problems-d-render-image-suitable-image32482606ithout permission or the support of his fellow teammates, to express his own political belief.  Not only
were his actions self-motivated, but the timing of his message was poor and the desired result not what he intended.

This is a very public example of how one member of a team can have a significant impact on the team.  In the case of the Tenors, trust was broken, member of the group no longer want to perform with Mr. Pereira, and their future must now be re-created.

Within most businesses, there are teams which are key to creating  and sustaining the business, its reputation with customers and its internal culture, to name only a few factors.  When someone on a team does something rogue these three steps can help salvage the situation.

  1.  Act swiftly   —  If the rogue behaviour has the ability to cause damage, your swift and decisive action is vital to making a wrong a right.  A rogue act requires you to step in, initiate an impartial investigation to determine the facts and to hear all perspectives.  Sometimes a 3rd Party is needed to conduct this investigation.  The investigation should be quick and to the point so next steps can be taken quickly.
  2. Be transparent —  In all actions and communication associated with the incident, it is important to communicate clearly and often so everyone within your team, your business, and key stakeholders understand what is happening.  You don’t want to breech confidentiality or individual rights, but you also don’t want people second-guessing you.    When you are transparent with the rogue team member, they also know where they stand and what actions will be taken and what to expect.  Transparency and frequent communication goes a long way to build trust, repair your reputation and minimize the negative impact the rogue actions could cause.
  3. Follow Through — Once you have dealt with the situation, its important to follow-through.  This means confirming the conclusion of the incident, ensuring all actions plans identified to prevent a repeat are in place and to check in with each member of the team or key stakeholders to get their perspectives, feedback and comments.  This debrief process is often over-looked, yet I have found it to be the most important.

Sometimes you can’t repair the damage done and a break-up is the right thing to do.  When this happens, the swift action, transparency and follow-through will help you re-focus on the future and take the right steps forward.

 

We have lots of experience assisting organizations during and after a critical incident.  Contact us to learn how we many assist you.

One Bad Apple – Can One Person Imact Team Success?

Can one person impact the dynamics of a team? Absolutely!

“Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” –Vince Lombardi

We only have to look at our work environments or sports teams for examples.

Recently, the Montreal Canadiens traded P.J. Subban for Shae Webber which shocked many fans.  P.J. was a key part of the Montreal hockey team, very active in the community and a fan favourite.  Why would they trade away a key resource?  Some say the downturn in the teams performance on the ice wasn’t related to the loss of the goalie. Instead it was reflective of strained dynamics in the locker room.  Webber brings a leadership component which is needed to ensure this decline in performance doesn’t happen again.

Another example is here in B.C. with our football team, the B.C. Lions.  For the past two years we had two new head coaches and results were a complete reversal of prior performance.  This year, former head coach and GM, Wally Buono returned to the sidelines and its like watching a different team.  Reports are Buono treats every player the same- whether they are a rookie or a veteran.  He also has the same expectations — come to practice and games prepared to work and give it their best effort.

Although these are sports examples, the same occurs in business.  A negative nellie can ruin a motivated and productive team.  A leader who lacks trust in their team can lose the respect of team members and morale will drop, leading to turnover, poor productivity, conflict and more.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” –Andrew Carnegie

Here are three ways you can ensure that one bad apple doesn’t ruin your team’s efforts.

  1.  Create a positive culture with a strong vision, mission and purpose.    If a team lacks focus or understanding of their role and what’s expected of them, they will flounder.  Each member of a team needs to have a role and understand how their role is part of the whole.  The team leader may not always be the manager or coach.  Sometimes it will be a member of the team who will have the most impact on ensuring everyone stays on track.   No matter who or why the team isn’t on track, we do know that a team that attracts the very best and deals with negative nellies before they do damage.
  2. Take action fast when ‘negative nellie’ shows up!  If a team member is not embracing the roles and behaviours acceptable to the team, its important to step in and address it quickly.  Feedback is one of the most effective ways to address negativity or a lack of engagement.  A conversation with the team member is vital for them to recognize the impact of their behaviour or actions on the entire team, and to identify a solution to the issue.  Sometimes the ‘negative nellie’ has to be removed from the team so that other members can achieve their best.
  3. Recognize differences and outcomes.   Every team is made up of different personalities and people with different perspectives.  It is this diversity that adds to the strength of the team, much like a mastermind.  Together the team is stronger when all perspective are brought together to create a new solution.   As a team lead, your role is to ensure everyone has an opportunity to contribute.  Some will prefer to be more visible than others.  Recognize the contributions of each member (not just those who are more vocal or visible) and celebrate positive outcomes or positive learnings from mistakes.

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”   — Phil Jackson

Team dynamics are a key factor in achieving a successful outcome.  Don’t let one person stop the team from pulling the whole team down!  Whether you are the team lead or a team member, you have a role to play — be the difference maker!

 

Does your team experience challenges?  We have a number of solutions that can assist you.  Contact us to explore how our solutions may benefit your and your team and boost results.

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