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Is Your Team like “Mom and Apple Pie?” – Guestblogger Betty DiMaria from Aras Performance

Guestblogger: Betty DiMaria, CEO of Aras Performance - Betty has over 30 years experience in organizational performance, management, and technology.  She has worked in the corporate, nonprofit, and municipal sectors—in industries including insurance, health care, manufacturing, technology, government, and association management. In 2012, DiMaria founded Aras Performance Group, and serves as CEO and Performance Strategist. The mission of Aras Performance Group is to help organizations and their employees reach peak performance. The company’s core services include leadership development, executive coaching, team building, strategic planning, change management, and technology assessment.  We thought we’d partner with them on this post and see what they had to say about teaming:

 

I’ve yet to meet a senior leader in any organization who says they discourage teamwork. In US work culture, teams are like “Mom and apple pie”—no one is going to say they don’t value teams. Yet, we all can think of a few mothers who would benefit from parenting classes. And if we mistakenly substitute cayenne pepper for cinnamon, we know that pie isn’t going to win any contests. Do you want to leave your critical people skills and work methods to chance, or would you prefer to develop real skills that boost performance?

True Teamwork is a Competitive Advantage.

That isn’t just my opinion. It is the word of renowned business leader and best-selling author Patrick Lencioni. In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Lencioni makes the compelling case for how teamwork can improve results. Whether or not you’ve read the book (over two million copies sold), hearing him talk about it is inspiring:  http://www.fivebehaviors.com/includes/video/patrick_lencioni.html

Lencioni makes these key points:

  1. If people can really work together well, it can change everything in an organization—from customer service to employee engagement to the bottom line.
  2. Teamwork truly is the greatest competitive advantage a group can have.
  3. Focusing on teamwork is an intentional strategic decision.
  4. Building high-performance teams isn’t that complicated but it does require hard work over time… and a lot of courage.
  5. Teamwork is powerful.
  6. Team leaders have a huge impact on the lives of the people on their teams. Intentionally improving team dynamics impacts real people in real ways—it might be the most altruistic accomplishment leaders ever make in their own lives.

The five dysfunctions of a team are illustrated in this video clip: http://www.fivebehaviors.com/includes/video/intro_to_5_behaviors.html

The five dysfunctions are:

  1. Absence of Trust—the unwillingness of team members to be vulnerable within the group so that they can admit uncertainties and failures and apologize for mistakes.
  2. Fear of Conflict—the inability of team members to engage in full debate.
  3. Lack of Commitment—the absence of full buy-in to team goals and strategies, with team members often feigning acceptance.
  4. Avoidance of Accountability—the unwillingness of team members to confront peers on actions and behaviors that are counterproductive to the team and its purpose.
  5. Inattention to Results—the tendency for team members to put their own individual needs (ego, career development, recognition) above the collective goals of the team.

 

When these behaviors are transformed into their positive counterparts, the result is a cohesive team that is stronger, more productive, and an engaging place to be.

John Wiley & Sons has developed an on-line assessment tool to determine how your team rates itself on the model. A powerful facilitated program is also available to help your team move to the next level of performance.

 

Do you want to be more competitive in your marketplace? Improve bottom-line results? Make your workplace more engaging? Be a leader who betters people’s lives? Contact New Directions or Aras Performance Group for more information.

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