Retail Observer

May 2014

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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RETAILOBSERVER.COM MAY 2014 46 RO Timothy Bednarz Team Training Contact Timothy Bednarz at 715.342.1018 or at: Excerpt from: A Team's Pupose, Function & Use: Pinpoint Leadership Skill Development Training Series S uccessful teams consciously focus on how to generate better results. To get them, a team needs to be able to organize its talent, assigned roles, tasks and processes so members remain interested and absorbed in what the team is charted to do and accomplish. When a team does not worry about generating positive results, it will never function as effectively as it can. One reason is because members will resort to performing roles and taking stances that tend to suit and advance their own purposes and desires, but act against the best interests of the team. These actions are quite destructive. They can easily undermine team success in terms of efficiently and effectively addressing and accomplishing the task it was assigned. These destructive forces must be guarded against if a team is to be a highly productive and functional decision making entity. To obtain better team results and sustain a high focus on generating them, with the least amount of disruptive interference, the team alone must become responsible for: • Minimizing actions that result in negative attitudes toward addressing and advancing the team project • Maximizing actions that make team participants enjoy the process of collaborative problem solving and experimentation • Modeling and reinforcing effective performance techniques that have a problem-centered focus • Getting team members excited about the project's associated opportunities and challenges • Making the team as a whole eager to function effectively and cooperatively while moving it continually forward • Reducing frustrations to prevent members from becoming unmotivated and giving up Overcoming and preventing these major destructive forces is absolutely necessary: Turning Off Others and Decreasing Project Excitement There are seven specific actions that work to turn others off as well as decrease levels of personal and team enthusiasm toward an assigned project: • Personal interruptions when someone is trying to explain something • Taking discussions off track • Ignoring what a speaker is saying • Ignoring and/or downplaying others and their responses • Using nonverbal negative communication tactics • Being singularly focused and totally closed-minded • Using derisive humor Any of these actions indicate that a team member simply doesn't want to take responsibility to help the team perform and function well, or take an active interest in what it is trying to accomplish and tend to generate a lot of conflict within a team. This is because individuals who attempt to shut down the sharing of explanations, insights and opinions will impede team progress and problem solving efforts, which makes it difficult and frustrating for others who want to move forward. It is easy to predict that the majority of team members will likely tend to isolate offending individuals rather than openly and conscientiously deal with their inappropriate actions in an attempt to alter or change their behavior. As a result the team loses a valuable member simply because it failed to adhere to and reinforce the standards of communication it had set for itself. Labeling When a team fails to maintain a results-oriented focus, it often allows labeling to go unchecked. When someone inside a team places a label on another member's behavior or attempts to describe another's attitudes or motives, this individual becomes a detrimental force to reckon with. Major breakdowns in team process and progress are often due to intentional or unintentional labeling practices. Labeling occurs when team members: talk forcibly to someone, intentionally confront another person in an intimidating manner, suggest that another person has a particular attitude or unworthy motive, or react sharply by challenging what another person is saying or implying. Whatever tactic is used, predictably speaking, a team can be certain that the person being attacked will immediately resort to a defensive position, and conflict and resentment will follow. This tends to disrupt and halt any discussion or conversation. In teams this is extremely detrimental and unproductive. Not only do labels affect the whole team in a social way, but also seriously affect the individuals being labeled from a psychological standpoint. Members who are labeled negatively by their team counter- parts or peers tend to: be more depressed, have a lower self-esteem, portray defensive characteristics, and dominate others as a personal protective measure. WHY WORRY ABOUT RESULTS?

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