Manufacturing Team Collaboration
We hire bright eager employees with excitement for the talent they will bring to our teams. Their education, experience, work ethic and career move into our organizations promise to be the components to round out our teams for our next level of success. And then, we end up in the same place: great individuals with disconnected teams.
There are three stages in the framework of how people are motivated to make decisions and take action:
- information gathering;
Employees have ingrained and predictable patterns where they emphasize more or less of their time between these stages, impacting collaboration and effectiveness.
Those spending most of their time gathering information will be well informed and want to minimize risk before taking action. However, also holding up progress towards completion, always feeling that more information is needed. These individuals will feel pushed to action before they are ready by those emphasizing deliberation or execution.Others may spend much of their time deliberating, deciding what to do based on priorities, process and what they will stand behind. They may also feel annoyed by those that seem to require excessive information or those that push them to execution without proper structure and priorities in place.
Yet others prefer to jump to execution, figuring out the information and process they need along the way. These individuals will be impatient with those needing more time to gather information or to deliberate.
You can see if you have varying decision-making patterns within a team, the team is positioned for conflict, which will challenge collaboration. To avoid this challenge, like will hire like, forsaking well-balanced decisions. However, it is advised to bring awareness to the value of each stage in decision-making, typically reducing annoyance among team members.
If your team is in a situation, where like has hired like, you may have a skewed team with an overemphasis of team strengths and enhanced blind spots. Bringing in a consultant or a new hire with a different pattern than your team will be of value.The other component in team collaboration is the impact of individual interaction style preferences. Do you remember the cliché interview question, “Do you like to work alone or do you like to work in teams”? And the interviewer rolls their eyes in their imagination when they hear the cliché answer “both”. Well, this is actually true! We all have a need to work independently at times, and with others at times. Individuals tend to switch their preference between collaboration and independence based on the stage of decision-making they are in.
One may need to collaborate with others when gathering information, switch to being independent and shut people out when they are deciding what to do, and then back to being a team player when executing. Others may need to become well informed on their own, then bring that information to the table to encourage joint consensus and then divide the work and execute independently.
The challenge in team collaboration enters when you have some members on the team that need to collaborate in a stage and others that need to be independent. There could be this potential mismatch in each of the three stages in decision-making, which leads to ineffective teams.
Structuring a deliberate sharing process in at least one stage of decision-making will increase collaboration and effectiveness of the team. If this can be managed in more than one stage, that is ideal and will lead to even greater success.I worked with a legal team of four people, and one of the men carried a high level of annoyance for another individual on the team. When we analyzed the decision-making patterns and interaction styles of the entire team, we saw that the man spent more time in the deliberative stage but had an independent/private interaction style in the stage. He needed to decide what to do on his own without the influence of others. The individual that annoyed him did not spend much time deliberating but had a preference to being collaborative in this stage so would ask the man a lot of questions. He was basically annoyed with her because he didn’t want to collaborate with anyone, and she couldn’t proceed to executing until she understood what the intentions of the team were. This turned into a workplace annoyance dynamic, bordering on “I hate that person”! Once these patterns were brought out into the open, the annoyance dissolved and the team’s collaboration and effectiveness greatly increased.
About the Author
Ritu Chander is the Founder of The Next Move LLC in Chicago, a leading company in decision-making consulting in the United States, using Movement Pattern Analysis (MPA) as the analytical framework. Ritu is passionate about the simplicity of the MPA framework and the transformative results that occur as her clients break through the roadblocks of their engrained thought processes. Ritu’s clients are entrepreneurs, physicians, corporations and attorneys for jury selection. As a leading expert in MPA, she is an engaging speaker and trainer and is passionate about sharing her knowledge to participate in maximizing the potential of her clients.
For more information, please visit http://thenextmovellc.com.