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Positive Change: How to Make It Stick For Your Team Culture

Nick Metler | 9/12/2022 12:00:00 PM

Positive Change For Your Team Culture

What are your most significant leadership challenges?

It's easy to get abstract when talking about leadership. Leaders want to overcome fear. Leaders want to have more confidence. Leaders want to avoid burnout, stress, and anxiety.

These are real issues. They are the root issues, but how do they show up daily? How do they come out when interacting with your team?

It's easy to overlook "soft skills" when supply chain problems arise. It's easy to focus on hard results alone when your team continues to change. The reality is this: if you want to improve your results, you must focus on your behaviors. And that means you must focus on people, including yourself.

So how can leaders shift the course of their organization and make positive change stick?

Avoid Disingenuous Meetings

How do meetings get off track?

We've all been in meetings where the real plan didn't match the discussion. Everyone is thinking something, but no one is saying it. At InitiativeOne, we call these the "under-the-table" issues. World-class leaders learn to put the under-the-table issues on top of the table.

Proactive leaders create safe environments for their teams to discuss the hidden agenda. They say the quiet part out loud in a kind, direct, and respectful way. It's not helpful to explode or dump drama onto teammates outside the meeting. That's not leadership.

Address the Sacred Cows

Does your team have any sacred cows? 

Is there anything your team needs to address that feels untouchable?

Many leaders leave things the way they are because it's uncomfortable to address the sacred cow issues. They will choose to avoid discomfort instead of creating positive change. Change for the sake of change isn't practical. But positive change propels teams forward. Take an honest look at the way your team handles challenges. What are the current process and strategies in place?

Do they fit your vision? Do they align with your values? Are they helping you create a healthy team culture?

If the answer is no, then you need to change. 

If there is a good fit, look for ways to optimize efficiency by empowering your team to solve problems.

Sacred cows are hard to dig out. Roots that run deep often have a stronghold in the organization. Prevent unhealthy practices from becoming the norm by addressing issues in real-time. 

Understand the Value of Feedback

We talk about feedback often because leaders must understand its value. Feedback unlocks positive accountability. Communicating in real-time provides leaders with opportunities to address unhealthy behaviors early. When heading into a tense situation, engaging in a particular way of thinking is helpful. Leaders should enter into these discussions with positive intent. Be kind. Be direct. Be respectful. Remember "KDR" to keep these traits front of mind. 

Feedback is one of the most valuable tools you have in your toolbox. Don't underestimate its power. It's easy to focus on the difficult moments for feedback. But, it's also essential to consider the power of positive feedback. Call out the times when the people around you are performing well. They'll appreciate it. Joy has a powerful compounding effect on teams. Lean into it, and you will reap the benefits.